Coronavirus – new Isolation Note process
31 March 2020
Employers are used to asking for and receiving a ‘fit note’ from an employee’s GP when the employee is ill or injured and are therefore incapable of working. Usually the employee would self-certify their absence up to 7 days, and the ‘fit note’ would be required to cover any period of sickness absence after that.
Isolation notes have now been introduced and can be used instead of a fit note when your employee is unable to work because they have symptoms of coronavirus themselves, or if they are self-isolating because they live in the same household as someone who has coronavirus symptoms. The purpose of the isolation notes is to discourage those with symptoms or who may be carriers of the virus from going into GP surgeries or hospitals to get a sick note, while also allowing an employer to request some form of paperwork to evidence the reason for their employee’s absence. They are only to be used to cover the period of absence once the first 7 days of self-certification have passed.
The isolation notes are available to apply for online via the NHS website, currently either:
- at the following link: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/self-isolation-advice/
- via the 111 online coronavirus service
- or via the NHS app.
This is what they look like:
The process is very simple and takes only a few minutes to complete. The details that are required are
- the employee’s name and date of birth
- an e-mail address for the isolation note to be sent to (this could be the employee themselves, or the address of a trusted friend or family member, or the employer if the employee wishes for it to be sent direct to them)
- the reason for isolating
- details of the date from when the note needs to start from and whether they have been told to self-isolate by an NHS website or a healthcare professional.
The isolation note can be applied for on behalf of another person, if need be.
If you are dealing with an employment issue, then we can help. Please call us on 01243 836840 for a no obligation chat, or email us at [email protected].