From today (1st July, 2022), a number of healthcare professionals are now able to certify fit notes, also commonly referred to as sick notes.
Now, the following can all legally certify fit notes.:
- Occupational therapists
The change enables people to access the service without having to see already under pressure GPs. Fit notes provide evidence of an absence of more than 7 days.
The changes apply across England, Scotland and Wales with Northern Ireland considering following.
Legislation in April removed the need for the fit notes to be signed in ink not only allowing them to be generated digitally but also to be sent digitally.
Statutory Sick Pay (SSP)
The weekly rate for Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) is £99.35*, it is paid by the employer for up to 28 weeks. To be eligible for sick pay, the employee must:
- Be classed as an employee (all employees are workers, but an employee has extra employment rights and responsibilities that do not apply to workers who are not employees.)
You are usually an employee if you:
- work regularly unless you are on leave
- can’t send someone to do your hours
- can join business’s pension scheme
- are required to work a minimum amount of hours and be paid for those hours
If the employee is eligible, you must tell your employer you’re unable to work before the deadline they set (or within 7 days if they have not set one) otherwise you could lose some of your SSP.
SSP is paid:
- for the days an employee normally works - called ‘qualifying days’ excluding the first three days of sickness (these are called Waiting Days**)
- in the same way as wages, for example on the normal pay day, deducting tax and National Insurance.
Fit notes need to be given to your employer if you are off sick for more than 7 days in a row (which includes non-working days.)
There are exceptions, even for employees which mean you will not qualify for SSP:
- have received the maximum amount of SSP (28 weeks)
- are getting Statutory Maternity Pay
- are self-isolating after entering or returning to the UK and do not need to self-isolate for any other reason
There are alternatives should you not be eligible or qualify for SSP, depending on your personal situation, you could apply for:
- Universal Credit
- Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)
Our payroll service works out eligibility and SSP for employees and will provide employers guidance and reminders for what is needed should an employee be off sick.
Contact us for a FREE 1 hour consultation:
Call or Whats App: 01865 522785
Use our contact form by clicking here.
**Waiting Days - you only get paid for waiting days if you’ve already received SSP within the last 8 weeks, and that included a 3-day waiting period.