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CIPD backs plans to allow staff with swine flu to self-certificate for up to 14 days

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Government plans to allow staff infected with swine flu to take 14 days off work, without a doctor's certificate, have received the backing of the CIPD.

The CIPD claims employers have ‘nothing to fear' from the emergency plans, to change self-certification rules, extending the period during which staff can self-certify from seven to 14 days.

The plans are currently under review by the Government's Civil Contingency Committee, following which draft legislation will be delivered to Parliament. The regulations will have a sunset clause, meaning they will no longer be law after six months unless extended.

Ben Willmott, CIPD senior public policy adviser, said: "The proposal to change the self-certification rules in the event of a serious flu pandemic is a pragmatic and temporary measure to reduce the burden on healthcare professionals and help prevent the spread of infection.

"Employers that manage absence and performance effectively and consistently have nothing to fear. The vast majority of absence is genuine and only a very small proportion of employees will seek to use this change in the self-certification rules to ‘pull a sickie'. "