To relieve pressure on GPs the government have introduced a new 'isolation note' that replaces the 'fit note' for those affected by the Coronavirus who who need to evidence this to their employer. People unable to work for more than seven days because of coronavirus (COVID-19) can obtain an isolation note through a new online service: NHS 111 online.
People who need to claim Universal Credit or Employment and Support Allowance because of coronavirus will not be required to produce a 'fit note' or an 'isolation note'.
Isolation notes provide employees with evidence for their employers that they have been advised to self-isolate due to coronavirus, either because they have symptoms or they live with someone who has symptoms, and so cannot work.
As isolation notes can be obtained without contacting a doctor this reduces the pressure on GP surgeries and prevent people needing to leave their homes.
For the first seven days off work, employees can self-certify so they don’t need any evidence for their employer. After that, employers may ask for evidence of sickness absence. Where this is related to having symptoms of coronavirus or living with someone who has symptoms, the isolation note can be used to provide evidence of the advice to self-isolate.
The notes can be accessed through the NHS website and NHS 111 online - here.
After answering a few questions, an isolation note will be emailed to the user. If they don’t have an email address, they can have the note sent to a trusted family member or friend, or directly to their employer. The service can also be used to generate an isolation note on behalf of someone else.