COVID-19 (Coronavirus) - Absence

As of 1 July 2022, the special leave provisions that were in place for employees who reported absent from work due to Covid-19 ceased and an employee who reports absent from work with confirmed Covid-19 or Covid-19 symptoms will now be recorded as being absent from work due to sickness and normal sickness absence procedures will apply.

The exception to the absence procedures is employees who provide evidence of a positive COVID-19 test will have the first 5 days of their absence discounted for the purposes of the absence triggers. For Health & Social Care employees that are required to routinely test a maximum of 10 days (2 weeks) will be discounted for the purposes of absence triggers. See absence matrix below for further detail.

Detailed below are the sickness absence reporting categories you should use within Itrent.

Where an employee contacts you to advise that they are not attending the workplace due to a COVID-19 related absence, the absence must be recorded via myTeam by the manager. Please ensure that all absences are recorded in a timely manner and that an accurate record of the reason for absence is also recorded.

Covid-19 Symptoms Use this sickness absence reason for employees who are reporting that they have symptoms of Covid-19 but have not been tested
Covid-19 Positive Use this sickness absence reason for employees who have provided evidence of a positive test. (Evidence can be either the result of the LFD/PCR test or a fit note from the GP).
Long Covid Use this sickness absence reason for employees whose Fit Note advises that they have long covid (also known as post-viral covid, ongoing symptomatic covid)

COVID-19 absence prior to 1 July  

If an employee has been absent with symptoms or confirmed COVID-19 prior to this date the special leave provisions will continue to apply as before to the end of that specific absence.

Other COVID-19 related absence

Where employee reports absent with COVID-19 related stress/anxiety, long covid or any other absence not associated directly with the initial symptoms of COVID-19, the absence will be recorded as a sickness absence from day 1 and will be managed in line with our supporting and managing attendance policies.

The absence category matrix details the different types of COVID-19 related absences and how these should be recorded on iTrent.

For further guidance on how to do record an absence on iTrent, please click here.

Guidance is also available on supporting employees who are experiencing symptoms of Long COVID and provides advice on how to manage an employees return to work and what steps to take if they are unable to return.

If you have any questions regarding COVID-19 absence please contact a member of the Employee Relations team at