Back to top
Letter to Notify Business of Absence Relating to COVID-19/Coronavirus Fill out the template

Letter to Notify Business of Absence Relating to COVID-19/Coronavirus

Last revision
Last revision 24/06/2023
Formats Word and PDF
Size 1 page
Fill out the template

About the template

Last revisionLast revision: 24/06/2023

FormatsAvailable formats: Word and PDF

SizeSize: 1 page

Option: Help from a lawyer

Fill out the template

How does it work?

1. Choose this template

Start by clicking on "Fill out the template"

1 / Choose this template

2. Complete the document

Answer a few questions and your document is created automatically.

2 / Complete the document

3. Save - Print

Your document is ready! You will receive it in Word and PDF formats. You will be able to modify it.

3 / Save - Print

Optional legal consultation

You can choose to get help from a lawyer after filling out the document.

Optional legal consultation

Letter to Notify Business of Absence Relating to COVID-19/Coronavirus

This document is a letter which can be used by an employee or worker in the United Kingdom to notify a business of sick leave or a leave of absence as a result of COVID-19. The letter enables such a staff member to document their notification in writing. It is useful to set this information out in writing so that the reasoning and timeframes are properly documented and to avoid any possible disputes regarding the period of absence.

Sick pay

One of the main reasons a staff member will wish to ensure an absence notification is properly documented is to ensure that they receive any sick pay to which they are entitled. Most employees (and some workers in specific circumstances) may be entitled to Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) for up to 28 weeks if they meet the qualifying conditions.

Where a person is absent from work for four days or more due to contracting COVID-19 or due to a requirement to self-isolate after contact with a positive case (and where they meet the other qualifying conditions), they should be entitled to SSP from the first day of their absence. It should be noted that the government guidelines regarding eligibility for SSP in respect of COVID-19 related absences will continue to be reviewed and the up to date position should be checked on the government website at the time of sending the letter.

A person may be entitled to additional pay to top up any statutory entitlement as a separate matter (known as contractual sick pay), where their contract for work or contract for employment provides for this. A person may also be eligible for contractual sick pay where they are not entitled to any SSP (where their contract for work or contract for employment provides for this). Where a person is not entitled to any pay, a request for discretional pay from the business can still be made in this letter. Any such person may also wish to explore whether they are entitled to any other form of government support.

In Wales, a Statutory Sick Pay Enhancement Scheme was introduced in November 2020. This scheme supports those who are working in care homes and care services. The scheme provides funding to employers to allow for such staff members to receive pay/top-up pay where they are not eligible for SSP or are only eligible for SSP and not full paid leave. The scheme is due to conclude in March 2022 and the up to date position should be checked at the time of sending the letter. Information can be found on the government website.

Accompanying evidence

A doctor's letter/certification cannot be requested by a business for the purposes of administering SSP for the first seven consecutive days of an absence. Thereafter, it will be necessary to supply medical evidence in order to verify any entitlement to SSP. In many cases, for COVID-19 absences, the relevant information (an isolation note) can be obtained from NHS 111.

Evidence requirements for any contractual sick pay should be checked against the contract for work or contract of employment.

Leave to care for dependants

Those with employee status are entitled to take time off work to care for a dependant in an emergency situation which they could not have planned for. For example, this might be where that person's child has contracted the virus and is absent from school. There is no obligation for such leave to be paid by an employer and the amount of time granted will depend upon the circumstances. Some employers may be willing to grant this leave as paid.

Those with worker status do not have the same entitlement regarding taking time off work to care for dependants in emergencies, but they can still request the same in this letter.

Absence related issues

It is important that a business pays SSP to all those who are eligible. They can be fined should they fail to meet this obligation. It is also important for a business to ensure that absences are dealt with fairly and properly.

In the first instance this letter can be used to notify the business of the circumstances relating to the absence and to request the relevant support/pay. Where a person feels they have not been fairly or properly treated regarding any absence or sick pay related issue following this letter, they may wish to consider raising a formal grievance to attempt to resolve the matter. Where matters are not resolved, matters could be raised before an independant tribunal.

Where an individual encounters a long-term situation which impacts their ability to work, they should also consider making a request for flexible working/the relevant adjustments. For example, this might be the case where a person is suffering from 'long COVID' or perhaps where a dependant is suffering long-term symptoms.

How to use this document

This letter formalises a request/notification for sick leave or a leave of absence due to COVID-19 to an employer.

In this letter, address and header information should be entered for both the sender and the recipient. Information about the expected date of return to work should be entered. Where it is necessary to attach medical evidence, this should be sent together with the letter.

Relevant law

The relevant legal provisions relating to the right to time off for sickness, statutory sick pay and other forms of leave are contained in:

  • The Employment Rights Act 1996 (Great Britain)
  • The Employment Rights (Northern Ireland) Order 1996 (Northern Ireland)
  • Employment Relations Act 1999 (Great Britain)
  • The Employment Relations (Northern Ireland) Order 1999 (Northern Ireland)
  • Social Security Contribution and Benefits Act 1992 (Great Britain)
  • Social Security Contributions and Benefits (Northern Ireland) Act 1992 (Northern Ireland)
  • The Statutory Sick Pay (General) Regulations 1982 (Great Britain)
  • The Statutory Sick Pay (General) (Coronavirus Amendment) (No. 7) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2020 (Northern Ireland)

It is also important for employees and workers to consult:

Help from a lawyer

You can choose to consult a lawyer if you need help.

The lawyer can answer your questions or help you through the process. You will be offered this option when you complete the document.

How to modify the template

You fill out a form. The document is created before your eyes as you respond to the questions.

At the end, you receive it in Word and PDF formats. You can modify it and reuse it.

Fill out the template