NJC Pay Award 21/22, Absence Self-Certification & The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee – Update

27 January 2022


NJC Pay Award 21/22

For quite some time now we have been eager to implement the NJC pay rise that is normally applicable every April. However, negotiations between The National Employers and Trade Unions have thus far not been concluded. The final offer (which was the same as the offer from 27th July, 2021 – see our website for details) was made on 19th October 2021, at which point the Trade Unions announced their intentions to ballot their members for strike action.

We are aware that UNISON’s ballot results concluded that whilst 70.20% of those who voted did vote in favour of strike action, there was only a turnout of 14.50% of members. As a result, UNISON cannot proceed with industrial action related to the NJC pay offer. We are yet to see the results of both GMB & Unite’s ballot but are aware that the The National Employers are meeting on 31st January to take of stock of the situation. Therefore, more information is to follow in due course…..

Absence Self-Certification

Our customers may already be aware of a temporary change to the period of time that people can self-certify when absent from work due to sickness. Normally this stands at 7 days; however, individuals can now self-certify for 28 days in order to allow GPs to focus on Covid-19 vaccinations.  This temporary change is in place until the end of January. 

That said, from a pay perspective, this rule change ONLY applies to SSP and NOT to contractual sick pay schemes. Employers who operate contractual sick pay schemes (i.e. most of, if not all of our customers) can continue to ask for a sick note after 7 days, in line with their own sickness policies. The exception here of course is for Covid-19 related absences, where employees can remain in isolation for 10 days following a positive test result, without requiring further notes from the GP.

The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee 21/22

On 23rd November 2021, The National Employers published clarification relating to the additional bank holiday awarded to the public in order to celebrate Her Majesty The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee. For term time only staff, the standard procedure is to reduce the school year from 190 to 189 days (or 195 days to 194 days in many other instances), with staff still receiving their usual full annual pro rata salary for the year (i.e. no reduction in salary as a result of the extra ‘day off’).

However, where a part-time employee’s working pattern means that they are still working the full number of days / hours for which they are contracted to work annually, they will need to be given an additional pro-rata paid leave entitlement to reflect the additional bank holiday.

If you would like some expert HR advice on any of the above then please contact our office on 0161 707 1520.