Self-certification of sickness - Manual workers

Appendix 4

As employing authorities will be aware, from 14 June, 1982, employees will be unable to obtain doctors' certificates for sickness absences of less than 1 week. This new situation will clearly require a change in the existing procedures for short-term absence through sickness and the Sick Pay Scheme has been amended by the addition of the following paragraph:

On return to work a statement is signed detailing the reasons for all absences up to and including 7 days.

Such a provision does not affect the existing requirement that on first becoming sick, an employee must inform his supervisor of his absence and the reason therefore, immediately or as soon as reasonably practicable.

Absences through sickness for 4 or more days will require the employee to complete a Social Security SC1 form, available from Doctors' surgeries, hospitals, Social Security Offices of the Treasury or employers, to ensure payment or correct allocation of sickness benefit in respect of the first week. The Social Security SC1 forms should be submitted via employers in the same manner as medical statements are currently submitted.

Sickness absence in excess of a week will require the provision of a doctor's certificate from the start of the second week of absence and at subsequent intervals in accordance with existing practice.

The procedure regarding return to work will be unchanged except that arrangements for absences of less than a week and the first week of longer absences will be subject to new procedures for self-certification.

In accordance with the revised terms of the Sick Pay Scheme, all employees who have been absent through sickness for up to 1 week should, on their return to duty, be required to complete Sickness Absence Forms as set out in the Management of Sickness Absence Policy and Procedure. These forms should be completed for all absences. These forms are additional to those required for Social Security purposes and should serve to ensure that the employing authorities' pay and sickness records are complete. It is also designed to ensure that cases of abuse of the new self-certification procedures are kept to a minimum and that those that do arise are more easily checked. 

It should be noted that Para. 17(c) of the Sick Pay Scheme is unchanged by the new procedures. This requires that absence on account of sickness on the day before or the day following a public or extra statutory holiday must be supported by the production of a doctor's statement.

NOTE: This guidance was originally issued by the Official Side Secretary in June 1982 and was correct at that time.

However, for the avoidance of doubt it should be noted that the guidance given in paragraph 7 above has been superseded by an amendment to paragraph 17(c) of the Sick Pay Scheme (Appendix 3 to the Memorandum of Agreement) to which reference should be made

Last updated: 1 September 2015