Recording COVID-19 related absences on ESR [Withdrawn]

The Electronic Staff Record (ESR) has been adapted to enable recording of COVID-19 related absence.

15 April 2020

The following DHSC guidance was withdrawn on 7 July 2022 and is now archived. 

See the latest guidance regarding COVID-19.

The Electronic Staff Record (ESR) has been adapted to enable recording of COVID-19 related absence. The accurate recording on ESR of COVID-19 related absence is vital to ensure that the ongoing additional impact on local health systems is tracked throughout the pandemic.

Recording self-isolation

The ESR issued a user notice (UN2864) describing the steps employers should follow to record any COVID-19 related absence where staff self-isolate.

Self-isolation must be recorded as special leave with full pay, ie the pay that the staff member would normally receive. The ESR user notice explains how the recording of special leave can be linked to an event related to COVID-19. For consistency, employers should record the reason under special leave as ‘infection precaution'.

Recording self-isolation as special leave should not affect any local special leave policies. For example, any entitlement to special leave described in local policies should not reduce as a result of self-isolation. Self-isolation special leave should be considered as a temporary additional entitlement, separate to any existing policies.

It is possible that staff require more than one period of self-isolation. Self-isolation will not be discouraged, and these arrangements will apply to each period of self-isolation.

Where staff are able to work from home, ie they are isolating but still working, there is no requirement to record anything on ESR, as the member of staff is still working, albeit from a different location.

Recording sickness absence and other absences

It is important that absence is recorded consistently in line with the ESR user notice (UN2864) and any subsequent guidance from ESR or NHS Employers.

Visit the ESR COVID-19 resource hub for more information.