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Changes affecting your employment including sickness, reduced hours and your rights when you return to work

If you're off sick, told to stay home because of coronavirus or you need to look after dependents

  • Different employers may have different rules, so please speak to your employer and check out the guidance below
  • If employees need to provide evidence to their employer that they need to stay at home due to coronavirus, they will be able to get this online instead of having to get a fit note from their doctor. For more information on how to obtain this note go to
  • For Statutory Sick Pay (SSP), where employees go off sick on or after 10 December 2021, employers can only ask employees for proof of sickness (such as a fit note) after 28 days of sickness (including non-working days). Proof of sickness cannot be requested earlier than 28 days (Public Health England).

Changes to self-isolation guidance following a positive test result

From Wednesday 22 December, it is now possible to end self-isolation after 7 days, following 2 negative LFD tests taken 24 hours apart. The first LFD test should not be taken before the sixth day. If both these test results are negative, and you do not have a high temperature, you may end your self-isolation after the second negative test result. Remember the day your symptoms started, or the day of your test if you did not have symptoms, is day zero.

The self isolation period for people infected with Covid-19 in England will be cut once more, down to five full days from Monday 17 January meaning people will be able to leave isolation if they test negative on a lateral flow kit on days five and six.

From 11 January in England, people who receive positive lateral flow device (LFD) test results for coronavirus (COVID-19) will be required to self-isolate immediately and won't be required to take a confirmatory PCR test. This is a temporary measure while COVID-19 rates remain high across the UK.

For more info: Stay at home: guidance for households with possible or confirmed coronavirus (COVID-19) infection - GOV.UK

New changes to Fit Notes - see new guidance

Test and Trace Support Payments

From 28 September, people are required by law to self-isolate if they test positive or are contacted by Test and Trace. To ensure that people on lower incomes that work are able to self-isolate without worry about their finances, they may be entitled to a new Test and Trace Support payment of £500.

Check eligibility and how to apply on our Test and Trace Support Payment page.

Apply for a Test and Trace Support Payment

The rules for workers who have not taken all their statutory annual leave entitlement due to Covid-19, being able to carry it over will come to an end in 2022. Please check the position with your employers.

Holiday entitlement: Holiday and leave during coronavirus (COVID-19) - Acas

Going into the workplace

Guidance has been published to assist employers, businesses and their staff in staying open safely during coronavirus.

If you have concerns or want to check your rights if you refuse to work because of safety concerns over coronavirus at your workplace.

If your employer requires you to work at home, you can - and have always been able to - claim for increased costs due to working from home, e.g. heating and electricity. For more information on how to work this out look at the following site:

Benefit Cap

If you are capped seek advice immediately.

The following link offers straightforward information about what furlough is, eligibility, how furlough interacts with benefits and guidance and signposting on taking alternative work while furloughed:

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