Reporting sickness absence due to coronavirus (Covid-19) or other illnesses if you are a member of staff working from home

Updated on 16 February 2021

How to report an absence due to coronavirus or any other illness as an employee or a manager

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Reporting an absence as an employee

If are ill and unable to work you should report your absence as normal and in accordance with the procedure.

You should contact your line manager (or nominated person) on the first day of your absence and let them know the reason for your absence.

Please keep your manager updated and if any circumstances related to your sickness absence changes so this can be notified to Payroll.

The Covid-19 Self Reporting Form should be used to provide information about a known or suspected case of Covid-19

Reporting an employee absence as a manager

You should complete a Sickness Absence Form this will be sent direct to Payroll.

A Fit Note will still be required for any period of sickness absence over seven days, however we recognise that this may not be available immediately. You should obtain a certificate as soon as reasonably practicable.

For Covid-related symptoms, you will not need to provide a Fit note, instead the medical evidence will be a:

  • A self-isolation note;

If you are self-isolating for more than seven days' absence, we ask that you provide us with an "isolation note" from NHS 111, which you can obtain by completing a simple questionnaire.

  • A self-shielding letter;

If you have been advised that you need to ‘self -shield’, you will have a letter from the NHS advising you to "self-shield" because a serious underlying health condition means that you are at high risk– see the government guidelines  for more details. A self-shielding letter can be classified as an automatic Fit Note for those that cannot work from home.

  • Test and trace notification;

If you have Covid-19 related symptoms or have been in contact with someone who has Covid-19 related symptoms you will have to self-isolate under the Scottish Government’s Test and Protect measures and you will have some notification relating to this that you will be able to provide.

If you have coronavirus symptoms

As Test and Protect measures are now in place, if you have symptoms of coronavirus you must:

  • self-isolate straight away
  • contact NHS Inform or call 0800 028 2816 to arrange a test
  • tell your line manager or Nominated person

Information about coronavirus symptoms and guidance are provided on the NHS Inform website and what action to take if these symptoms are exhibited.

If you have been informed by an NHS contact tracer that you have been in close contact with someone who has tested positive and need to self-isolate

If you are self-isolating (with coronavirus symptoms), you should not attend work.

If you feel well and are able to work at home, then please continue to do so. If you are in a role which requires you to continue to work on campus and you are not available for work due to self-isolation, your absence will be treated as sick leave and the University’s standard Sickness Absence Policy and pay arrangements will apply. You should obtain a self-isolation note from NHS Inform in these circumstances.


Human Resources


Human Resources and Organisational Development

Guide category Staff support