Renfrewshire Council

Coronavirus (COVID-19) sickness absence guidance for staff and managers

What do if you have coronavirus (COVID-19) symptoms and you can't work, or you can work from home, if you become sick again. What managers need to do if a team member has coronavirus (COVID-19) or the symptoms of it.

Coronavirus (COVID-19) guidance for all staff

If you have symptoms and you can't work from home

If you have symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19) and you are too sick to carry out normal activities or work from home, you should follow the stay-at-home guidance on NHS Inform.

If you can't work from home, this will be recorded as sick leave. 

Let your line manager know as soon as possible and follow your normal absence reporting procedure. You may also want to contact colleagues or other people you have recently been in contact with.

You do not need to take a PCR test. 

You should stay at home until you feel better if you have:

  • respiratory symptoms that could be coronavirus (COVID-19) or another illness
  • a fever or are unwell.

Staying at home will also reduce the risk of passing your illness onto others.

If you have symptoms but you can work from home

If you are fit to work and you can work from home, you should continue to do so. You should only return to work when you have followed the current stay-at-home guidance.

Testing for coronavirus (COVID-19)

Free testing is longer available from the NHS.

Testing is only available to certain groups to protect high risk settings, support clinical care and for surveillance purposes. 

If you are a health and care worker, you will continue to access lateral flow testing through your workplace.

See the guidance on testing and staying at home on the NHS Inform website.

Coronavirus (COVID-19) guidance for managers

If your team member has coronavirus (COVID-19) and can't work

If a team member is absent due to coronavirus (COVID-19) symptoms, this should be recorded as sick leave for the duration they are unable to work. 

They will receive sick pay in line with their current terms and conditions of employment.  

If your team member needs to stay at home but they can work

Your team member can work from home if they:

If their condition changes and they can't work from home, they must: 

  • let you know as soon as possible
  • follow your team's sickness absence procedure
  • record it as standard sickness absence.

If they become sick again

If your team member becomes sick again due to coronavirus (COVID-19), they should follow the same sickness absence process as before and record it as sickness absence.

Recording a coronavirus (COVID-19) sickness absence

The line manager needs to record coronavirus (COVID-19) sickness absence on Business World (ERP). 

In the first field of the sickness absence screen, select the code 'COVID' from the options:

  • SICK

Do not select the SICK code if it is a coronavirus (COVID-19) sickness absence.

Please be aware that this sickness absence may count towards an absence trigger for the person off sick. 

If they are on special leave, they will now move on to sickness absence.

If your team member is currently on COVID special leave, they will automatically be transferred to sickness absence. You do not need to do anything on Business World (ERP) or on your own other sickness absence recording systems for this to take effect. 

When your team member returns to work

Make sure to end the sickness absence on Business World (ERP) when your team member returns to work.

If you don't use Business World (ERP), or you get an error message on it, email the Employees Services team at to let them know your team member's last date of sickness.