The following DHSC guidance was withdrawn on 7 July 2022 and is now archived.
During the COVID-19 pandemic the NHS is seeing higher levels of sickness absence.
Sickness absence pay
Normal sickness provisions as detailed in the NHS terms and conditions of service handbook for Agenda for Change (AfC) staff (section 14, England), will be paused for the duration of the pandemic for sickness absence related to COVID-19. For normal sickness absence that is not related to COVID-19, normal provisions will apply as usual.
For AfC staff whose sick pay is usually calculated using only their basic salary, for the duration of the pandemic they will be paid sick pay as though they are working if they are off sick with COVID-19, using an agreed reference period or other local agreed policy. This will ensure all AfC staff receive full sick pay. Terms for medical staff already include full pay for sickness absence.
- Any sickness absence related to COVID-19 for AfC and medical staff must be recorded separately on the Electronic Staff Record.
- Any sickness absence related to COVID-19 for AfC and medical staff should not be counted for the purposes of any sickness absence triggers or sickness management policies.
Employers must continue to make their judgement that staff are well enough to work and that the COVID-19 infection control guidance is followed in all cases.
Returning to work following sickness absence
Staff should follow their organisation’s emergency preparedness procedures, which will be informed by procedures as described in local policies and in line with annex 26 of the NHS terms and conditions of service or equivalent procedures for medical and dental staff not covered by this annex.
As described earlier, any sickness absence related to COVID-19 is a new separate temporary payment and should not be counted for the purposes of any sickness absence triggers or sickness management policies.
NEW 15 MAY 2020
RIDDOR reporting of COVID-19
The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has updated The Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 2013 (RIDDOR) to include reporting related to COVID-19.
Use this flowchart to help you to identify when you should make a COVID-19 report under RIDDOR and the requirements.
NEW 15 MAY 2020
How to report the death of an NHS colleague due to COVID-19
NHS England and NHS Improvement has defined the formal reporting process in the event of the death of an NHS colleague due to COVID-19.
Use this flowchart that details the processes for reporting a deat (PDF) and who needs to be contacted.
NEW 20 May 2020
Life assurance scheme
NHS Business Services Authority has published information and guidance on the new life assurance scheme that has been introduced for eligible frontline health and social care workers during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
This flowchar (PDF) shows the process and links to the NHS Business Services Authority web pages for further information.