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Published 15 July 2022
With effect from 7 July 2022 the DHSC has withdrawn certain changes to terms and conditions relating to sick pay that were introduced during the pandemic.
During the pandemic guidance was issued relating to the ability to amend national terms and conditions with regard to sick pay. This guidance has now been withdrawn effective from 7 July 2022.
This means that access to full sick pay for any new episodes of COVID-19 sickness and access to special leave, on full pay, for the purposes of self-isolation no longer apply. From 7 July 2022 employers are required to start to have conversations with staff individually to discuss these changes and, where possible, to have completed these meetings by 3 August 2022. By 4 August 2022 formal notice should be issued to staff to confirm that they will be transitioning back to normal contractual sick pay arrangements so that by 1 September 2022 all staff will have returned to their normal sick pay. Any periods of sickness absence that were previously paid as COVID-19 sick pay will not be counted in the aggregation of sickness previous absence for the purposes of calculating an entitlement to sick pay.
WHAT DOES THIS MEAN FOR EMPLOYERS?
These changes to the guidance are not unexpected by employers. However there is likely to be a degree of concern from staff who currently have COVID-19, or have had it, and remain on sick leave. The one to one discussions will need to be handled sensitively and the effect of the change clearly explained, together with a follow confirmation in writing to each employee. Given that staff will remain entitled to sick pay under Agenda for Change the withdrawal of this guidance should create little immediate impact for employees.
COVID-19: NHS Staff Council joint guidance
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