Reporting your Lateral Flow Test Results

Staff is asked to submit their ongoing lateral flow test results electronically to enable epidemiological analysis.

Submit your results

FAQs

The Centralised Absence Reporting (CAR) Hub  - 01752 430000 - is still open for staff to contact regarding all absence and all COVID-related queries.

The email address for the CAR hub is plh-tr.carhub@nhs.net

Staff are advised to use LFT tests twice a week and these can be ordered from the Government website.

 

Removal of temporary Covid-19 workforce guidance regarding sick pay - Frecuently asked questions

 

1. What were the temporary Covid-19 arrangements?

At the beginning of the Covid-19 Pandemic, the Department of Health and Social Care put in place temporary arrangements to the way Covid-19 related absences were managed for NHS staff. This included full Covid-19 sick pay and those absences not being counted towards sickness absence triggers. This guidance has been under review since it was introduced in 2020.

 

2. What are the new changes?

Following consultation with national stakeholders including NHS England and Improvement (NHSEI), NHS Employers, trade union and employer colleagues, the Government has decided that now is the right time to withdraw the temporary arrangements. This decision follows the Government’s publication of its plans for living with Covid, which saw the withdrawal of all restrictions, and will support the move back to normal contractual arrangements.

This means from 7th July 2022, the temporary staff terms and conditions section of the Covid-19 workforce guidance was totally withdrawn.  This included the withdrawal of:

  • Covid-19 sick pay (full pay) for new episodes of Covid-19 sickness and
  • Covid-19 special leave (full pay) for self-isolation.

From the 7th July 2022, normal NHS occupational sick pay entitlements will apply to any new episodes of Covid-19 sickness absence, and for those absences to be dealt with in line with the Sickness Absence Policy. 

Occupational Sick Pay Entitlements:

Years of NHS employment

Full Pay

Half Pay

During 1st year

 

1 month

2 months

During 2nd year

 

2 months

2 months

During 3rd year

 

4 months

4 months

During 4th and 5th years

 

5 months

5 months

From 6th year

 

6 months

6 months

 

 

3. How do the changes apply to colleagues currently off sick due to Covid-19 related absence which began before 7th July 2022?

For absences that started before the 7th July 2022 there will be a staggered approach to ending the temporary arrangements.  Line managers will arrange to meet with colleagues affected by the new arrangements before 3rd August 2022 to explain the changes, what this means for them individually and the support available. Formal notice of this change will start on the 4th August 2022 and end on the 31st August 2022.

Covid-19 sickness absence or self-isolation that started before 7th July 2022 will not be counted when working out occupational sick pay entitlement, or count towards the sickness absence triggers. After the 1st September 2022 if a colleague is unable to attend work because they are unwell for any reason then this will be counted towards their sick pay entitlement and towards the sickness absence triggers. 

 

4. How will Covid-19 sickness be paid and dealt with from 7th July 2022?

From the 7th July 2022 all new episodes of Covid-19 sickness will be dealt with in line with normal occupational sick pay arrangements, and the Sickness Absence Policy.

Staff who are already absent with an episode of Covid-19 related absence on 7th July 2022 will continue to receive Covid-19 sick pay whilst they remain absent up to and including 31st August 2022. From 1st September 2022, any staff who remain absent will move back onto their normal contractual sick pay arrangements.  We understand staff may feel worried and concerned about these changes so please speak with your manager. The Payroll Team can be contacted for any questions about sick pay on Tel: 01752 437601 / email : pfss.payroll@nhs.net.  The People Team can help with any queries and can be contacted on 01752 437042 or by emailing:  plh-tr.hrinbox@nhs.net.   Support is also available from the following Trade Unions:

  • GMB :    Tel 01752 439274
  • Unison :  Tel 01752 439276
  • Unite :     Tel 01752 439275
  • RCN :      Email vicky.brotherton@nhs.net

 

5. What happens if colleagues were off sick before 7th July 2022 but will be returning to work before 31st August 2022?

Where colleagues return to work after the 7th July but before the 1st September 2022, a meeting will take place with their manager, as detailed in question 2 above. To support their return and rehabilitation back to work, a return to work meeting will also be held with their manager in the usual way.   

 

6. What happens if colleagues come back to work after 7th July 2022 and then go off sick again?   

If colleagues become unwell after 7th July 2022, their sickness absence will be managed in line with the Sickness Absence Policy, and sickness paid in line with occupational sick pay arrangements.


7. What if colleagues are Covid-19 positive but feel well enough to work?

If colleagues are unable to attend work because they are Covid positive although feel well enough to work, managers will try to support them to either work from home or by doing different type of work or duties where appropriate. Where this is not possible and colleagues are not able to attend work because of infection control reasons they would be paid as if they are at work. This would be recorded as authorised absence and not sickness absence.  As this is authorised absence, it will not count towards the sickness absence triggers. To help understand the changes, please refer to the Covid guidance flowchart here.

 

8. What are the requirements to self-isolate prior to surgery?

Where colleagues receive confirmation from their specialist about the requirement to self-isolate prior to surgery, they should discuss this with their manager who should explore the possibility of home working or doing adjusted duties for the isolation period. Where this is not possible, this should be recorded as authorised absence in line with your normal rate of pay. Any recovery period following the operation will need to be recorded as sick leave in the normal way. 

 

9. How will colleagues be supported back to work following a period of long-term sickness due to long-Covid?

Colleagues absent on long-term sickness will have kept in touch with their manager whilst they were off to keep them updated regularly about their health situation and discuss any support needed to help their recovery and rehabilitation back to work, in line with the Sickness Absence Policy. This will have included discussing advice from Occupational Health and Wellbeing following a referral about their individual circumstances, and any adjustments to be considered such as a phased return. When colleagues are ready to return, a return to work meeting will take place to welcome them back to work and to the team, check-in how they are and give reassurance if any concerns about returning, and any further support needed.  A Covid Risk Assessment will also be completed to consider any additional risk factors due to symptoms of long-Covid to help facilitate a safe return to work.  If any colleagues find they are still struggling with long-Covid symptoms the following support and resources are available:

 

10. Can staff claim back annual leave for periods of sickness absence when unwell with Covid during their holiday?

Staff will be required to provide a fit note to cover their period of sickness absence, in line with the Sickness Absence Policy. Please note new fit note legislation came into effect from 1st July 2022 allowing a wider range of healthcare professionals, such as registered Nurses, Occupational Therapists, Pharmacists, and Physiotherapists, working in general practice and hospital settings to certify fit notes as well as GPs. 

 

 

Please note that this information is subject to change in line with national and local developments.

 

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Support available to UHP colleagues

Support available to UHP staff

We recognise this is an anxious time for colleagues and have created a support hub detailing the range of measures available to support colleagues, including those experiencing emotional distress.