New Covid rules mean that public sector workers can take 28 days off without having to write a sick note, according to unions. 

The new rule was created so that GPs could administer vaccinations without charge. However, there are concerns workers who want to remain at home may abuse it.

Unison, a public sector union, informed its members that the UK Government had made temporary changes to the provision for ‘fit notes’ up until January 27, 2022.

Employers cannot ask employees to prove sickness (such fit notes) if they are absent on or after December 10, 2021. This applies only after 28 days’ sickness, including non-working days.

Unions are telling public sector workers they can now take 28 days off work without a sick note as a result of new Covid rules. Pictured: A deserted Waterloo Station at 8.15am Tuesday

New Covid rules mean that public sector workers can now be absent for 28 days without sick leave from unions. Pictured: A deserted Waterloo Station at 8.15am Tuesday

MPs have urged the Government to reverse the rule over concerns it could be abused at a time when the UK is facing staffing crisis. Pictured: Overflowing bins in the Walton area of Liverpool

The rule was imposed by the government after MPs raised concerns that it might be misused at a time of crisis in the UK’s staffing. Pictured: Overflowing bins in the Walton area of Liverpool

It circulated the updated to its 1.4million members and stated that proof of sickness could not be requested before 28 days.

Înaintea rule change, everyone who was unable to work for more than a few days due to an illness had to submit a signed sick note from the GP. 

This rule change was made when the government also introduced changes to isolation and testing rules.

To confirm a positive test for Covid, anyone using a lateral stream test at home to test will no longer require a PCR test.

According to The Telegraph, MPs called on the government to repeal the rule because they fear it will cripple the country.

As the staff absents continue to make the NHS and rail services crumble, around 1.3 million Britons currently are under house arrest.

It is likely that the situation will get worse before getting better with an average of 183,000 Brits going into isolation per day.

There are growing calls from experts, businesses and even NHS leaders themselves to cut self-isolation to five days to avoid paralysing the economy and disrupting vital services.

As the virus spreads, train services and bin collection are also halting. Schools are also warning about the possibility of not having enough teachers to keep up with their usual schedules. 

Brendan Clarke Smith is a Conservative MP who sits on the Education Select Committee. He told The Telegraph that the rule could be abused, especially in those sectors “where we don’t have the money to allow for it to happen.”

He added: ‘There is a debate to be had about the 28 days – that is quite a long period for someone to be off for, and in terms of what that will do to the workforce.

Sir John Hayes is a Conservative MP who was formerly a minister and said to the paper that while it may have been needed during the time when we had the booster quickly out, we need to immediately review the situation.

Pictured: NHS trusts across England have declared 'critical incidents' indicating that they may be unable to deliver vital care to patients in the coming weeks due to the staffing crisis

Pictured: NHS Trusts in England declared “critical incidents” to indicate that they might not be able to provide vital care for patients over the next few weeks because of the staff shortage

More than 20 NHS trusts are now in ‘critical incidents’ following the massive staff shortages caused by Omicron.

The Prime Minister’s official spokesperson said more than 20 of England’s 137 trusts — 15 per cent of the entire health service — have signalled they may not be able to deliver vital care in the coming weeks.

The spokesperson stated that alert levels are not an indicator of how pressure the health care system was facing, as they only provide a snapshot.

The Prime Minister announced yesterday that plans have been made for calling in the Army to assist hospitals in an emergency situation.

The cancellation of 17 non-urgent services at Greater Manchester hospitals was due to the fact that 15 percent of health chiefs were at home with Covid.

Unison claimed it only circulated rules the Government introduced in order to make sure its members knew about the changes to legislation.

Jon Richards (assistant general secretary to Unison) stated that these temporary rules were made by the Government in order to ease pressure on GPs.

“Public sector workers have kept essential services running through the pandemic.

“Most people have no choice but to stay at home and are therefore more susceptible to illness if they go to work.

Many public sector workers would prefer to not work because of the low sick-pay.