On 16 December Parliament approved emergency legislation temporarily changing the statutory sick pay rules with effect from today, 17 December, in order to free up GP time for the vaccine booster programme.

For any period of sickness starting on or after 10 December and up to the end of 26 January 2022, employees will not be required to provide medical information evidencing their incapacity for the first 28 calendar days (increased from the usual 7 days) of any continuous period of sickness.  The updated guidance is available here.

This applies in England, Wales and Scotland.


On 22 December the Government confirmed that it was temporarily reintroducing its Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme for employers with fewer than 250 employees, covering SSP paid to employees for absences linked to coronavirus-related sickness or self-isolation starting on or after 21 December 2021.  Claims can be made for the cost of up to two weeks of SSP, retrospectively from mid-January.  Further details can be found in the government’s fact sheet and full guidance will be published shortly.