Employees can self-certify for the first 7 days of sickness absence. But what happens after 7 days if an employee is either off sick with symptoms of Covid-19, or is self-isolating on government/medical advice (e.g. because a member of their household has symptoms), and is therefore unable to see a doctor to get the usual sick note?

The government recently launched online isolation notes to address this problem. These digital isolation notes will allow employees to demonstrate to their employer that they have been advised to self-isolate and are therefore unable to work, without them being required to leave their home to visit a GP. Isolation notes can be accessed through the NHS Website, NHS 111 online, or via the NHS app.

The isolation note can be emailed to the individual user, to a friend or family member (if for example they do not have an email address themselves) or sent direct to their employer. It is also possible to generate an isolation note on someone else’s behalf.