Online absence from work notes launched

An online note proving people can’t work for 7 days due to coronavirus isolation can now be obtained through a new service online.

Employers who need proof that employees have to isolate due to coronavirus symptoms or are living with someone with the virus, can now get isolation notes from their employees that they got online.

The pressure on GP surgeries will be reduced due to the online service, as isolation notes can be obtained without contacting a doctor which prevents people leaving their homes.

Employees can self-certify that they need to self-isolate for 7 days and don’t need to provide their employer with any proof. After the first week, employers may ask for proof of sickness absence. I’m the event of an employee having symptoms of coronavirus, or are living with someone who does, the online note system is evidence of the decision to self-isolate.

An isolation note or fit note does not need to be provided by people who need to claim Employment and Support Allowance or Universal Credit. More details on claiming benefits due to coronavirus can be found here.

The note can be accessed through NHS 111 online and the NHS website. An isolation note will be emailed to the user after answering a few questions online. In the event that someone doesn’t have an email address, the note can be emailed directly to the employer or to a close family or friend. For those that need it, the isolation note can also be generated on behalf of someone else.

The isolation note service was built by NHS Digital and commissioned by NHSX.

Health and Social Care Secretary, Matt Hancock, said:

“It is absolutely vital we do everything we can to ease the burden on our healthcare professionals, allowing them to spend as much time as possible with those patients that need them most.

“Digital isolation notes will provide reassurance to those self-isolating and their employers while also reducing the pressure on our NHS, so they can continue doing all they can to protect the people of this country and save lives.”

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