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GPs propose doubling sickness cert threshold

Workers should be able to self-certify illnesses for two weeks before having to obtain a doctor’s note, say GPs.


GP leaders at the British Medical Association’s annual conference called on the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) to increase the amount of time a worker is able to take off with self-certified sickness from seven days to 14 days. They argued extending the threshold would free up valuable time and ease the burden on doctors.

Doubling the self-certification period would reduce the number of appointments, which average 370 million a year – a rise of 70 million in the past seven years. 

The DWP told BBC News it had no plans to change the existing threshold.


Keeley Downey is acting deputy editor of IOSH Magazine. She is a former editor of Biofuels International, Bioenergy Insight and Tank Cleaning Magazine

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