By Nic Hart & Liam Hutton
The Government has announced that Isolation notes will provide employees with evidence for their employers that they have been advised to self-isolate due to coronavirus, either because they have symptoms or they live with someone who has symptoms, and so cannot work.
For the first seven days off work, employees can self-certify so they don’t need any evidence for their employer. After that, employers may ask for evidence of sickness absence. Where this is related to having symptoms of coronavirus or living with someone who has symptoms, the isolation note can be used to provide evidence of the advice to self-isolate.
The government says the notes can be accessed through the NHS website and NHS 111 online.
According to Matt Hancock, the Health & Social Care Secretary, if an employee does not have an email address, they can have the note sent to a trusted family member or friend, or directly to their employer. The service can also be used to generate an isolation note on behalf of someone else.
Are isolation notes ‘medical evidence’ for CSP purposes?
It remains to be assessed on a case-by-case basis whether isolation notes will constitute satisfactory ‘medical evidence’ under an employer’s CSP policy. However, the latest Government guidance does seem to suggest that this may be the case. We can advise on specific instances
In any event, the Government are “strongly suggesting” that employers use their discretion around the need for medical evidence for a period of absence where an employee is advised to stay at home either as they are unwell themselves, or live with someone who is, in accordance with the public health advice issued by the government.
For More Information
Please contact Nic Hart or Liam Hutton, or another member of the Duane Morris London Office.