Removing COVID sickness rules is another kick in the teeth for NHS staff says the RCM

on 08 July 2022 RCM Maternity Services Midwifery Workforce covid-19 Covid-19 NHS Staff NHS

The Royal College of Midwives (RCM) has criticised the Government’s scrapping of sickness rules supporting NHS staff in England who contract COVID-19.

Early in the pandemic new rules came in enabling special sick pay and arrangements for NHS staff off sick with COVID-19 or isolating because of it. From 7 July those rules were scrapped and any staff infected with COVID-19 fall under the normal NHS staff sickness rules. There is a tapering off period for staff already affected by COVID-19, with all staff reverting to normal sickness rules from 1 September 2022.

Alice Sorby, Director for Employment Relations at the RCM, said: “This week the Government is exhorting us to celebrate 74 years of the NHS, yet this move shows clearly that they are not celebrating the people who work in it. This is a hugely disappointing step from the Government who continue to show they do not value NHS staff and the incredible work they do.

“They are scrapping this important support for NHS staff at a time when COVID-19 infection rates are soaring. Midwives, maternity support workers and their NHS colleagues are the people right at the front line in the fight against the infection. They already tell us they don’t feel valued over issues such as investment in staffing levels, pay, mileage rates and the removal of free car parking. This will be another insult to add to that growing list and only serves to reinforce their palpable and growing feelings of dissatisfaction with this Government.”

The NHS staff Council will be publishing guidance on the changes for NHS staff and employers. The RCM will also be updating its own guidance.


To contact the RCM Media Office call 020 7312 3456, or email [email protected]. 

Notes to Editors



The Royal College of Midwives (RCM) is the only trade union and professional association dedicated to serving midwifery and the whole midwifery team.  We provide workplace advice and support, professional and clinical guidance, and information, and learning opportunities with our broad range of events, conferences, and online resources. For more information visit the RCM | A professional organisation and trade union dedicated to serving the whole midwifery team