Friday, July 10, 2009

Swine Flu and Doctors Sick Notes

The Government says contingency plans to extend self certification for limited period will only be implemented 'if absolutely needed'.

Under government plans to deal with the pandemic anyone infected with swine flu could stay off work for 14 days without a doctor's note.

Employees can currently be off for seven days, including weekends and Bank Holidays, without needing a sick note from their GP.

A spokesman for the Department for Work and Pensions said: "The Government is considering possible measures to minimise the risk of further spread of swine flu and protect public health.

We don't want people to feel obliged to leave the home or return to work when they are still unwell or put an unnecessary burden on GPs in a pandemic. Contingency plans therefore include the possibility of extending self certification to 14 days for a limited period."

He said the measures would "only be implemented if absolutely needed", and the decision would be taken by the Government's civil contingencies committee.

Professor Sayeed Khan, chief medical adviser at the manufacturers' body EEF, said: "We are going to have GPs – quite rightly – dealing with more serious cases. The advice is not to visit your GP if you get swine flu.

Being realistic, there will be some people who think 'I've got a bit of a cold' or 'I'm not that bad' and will stay off work. There's nothing you can do to fix that. Employers can rely on the good morals of their employees and say 'don't abuse it'. They can say they will take tough measures against anyone found abusing it, but that's about all they can do."

The move follows the government's chief medical officer announcement yesterday that the number of deaths from swine flu had risen to 14, with the infection.

C Todd & Co ~ Chartered Certified Accountant in Broomhill, Sheffield ~


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