Wrong decision to cut Covid sick pay, says CSP

The CSP has criticised changes from the Department of Health and Social Care to the way Covid-19-related sickness absence and self-isolation must now be managed in the NHS in England.

A woman with long Covid on sickness leave

The new changes came into force on 7 July and mean that previous arrangements for NHS staff with new episodes of Covid-19-related absence have now been withdrawn.

NHS England staff will now have to revert back to their contractual arrangements for pay and sickness absence.

NHS staff who were already off with a Covid-19 absence on 7 July should have already been contacted by their employer to discuss the planned changes, and should have received four weeks’ notice to revert to their contractual terms from 1 September.

Commenting on the changes, Jim Fahie, assistant director of employment relations at the CSP, said:

‘This is the wrong decision at the wrong moment and will cause further distress for our members and other NHS staff who have been affected by Covid.’

‘The NHS is already experiencing a workforce crisis on top of handling the ongoing impact of a pandemic. This decision runs the risk of exacerbating both of those enormous pressures.'

CSP members should be reassured that any period paid as Covid-19 sick leave prior to 1 September, should not be counted towards the calculation of their contractual sick pay, nor toward any sickness absence triggers contained in their local policies.

The CSP is working with the health trade unions and NHS employers through the NHS Staff Council to produce guidance to explain and support the changes.

In the meantime, further information and guidance about the changes is available is available here: Covid-19: NHS Staff Council joint guidance

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