Swine Flu and employers
HMRC have asked employers to try and reduce the burden on GPs during the expected swine flu epidemic this winter. As a general rule, employees who are ill self-certify their first seven days of illness and employers cannot ask for medical evidence during the first seven days.
After seven days have passed, most employers require a doctor’s certificate in order to continue paying statutory sick pay. However, employers have flexibility in deciding what evidence is appropriate to demonstrate that an employee is unable to work. During these difficult times, HMRC are asking employers to consider other evidence in lieu of a medical certificate to help reduce the burden on GPs.
Employers are permitted to extend the self-certification period beyond seven days where this is felt to be appropriate. The normal rules for statutory sick pay continue during the swine flu outbreak.