Post-holiday quarantine: your rights at work

Are you returning from Portugal and facing the prospect of quarantining? Perhaps you're mulling over the implications of jetting off on a foreign holiday? Make sure you understand the implications of post-holiday quarantining on your employment and your rights at work.

Self-isolating after returning to the UK

Depending on the country you’re visiting, most people returning to the UK will have to self-isolate or quarantine for 10 days. This includes returning home after:
  • a holiday
  • other personal travel such as a family emergency
  • business travel, where it is not reasonably possible to conduct the work in the UK
In most cases this means staying at home for 10 days although, depending on where you have travelled from, you may need to stay in a quarantine hotel. Read the latest government guidance before and after travelling
Workers who need to self-isolate should not leave home to go to work – before you travel check with your employer whether you can work from home. If so, your work might not be affected by having to self-isolate.

What happens if I can’t work from home?

If you cannot do your job from home, before you travel talk to your employer about what type of leave you’ll need to use. This could be:
  • extra paid holiday
  • unpaid leave
  • any other 'special' paid leave your employer might offer

Am I entitled to sick pay if I have to quarantine after travel?

If you’re quarantining after traveling and can’t work from home, you won’t be entitled to Statutory Sick Pay (SSP). However, your employer may choose to pay sick pay (either at the same rate as SSP or at a higher rate). Check your employer’s policy on sick pay rules.

What happens if I have to travel because of a family emergency?

If you need to travel because of a family emergency outside the UK, your employer should act fairly in these cases. If you can’t work from home when you arrive back in the UK, your employer could consider the following options for some or all of the time you’re self-isolating:
  • unpaid leave
  • special paid leave
For expert employment law advice, please contact Maureen Cawthorn or James Hodgson at our Halifax office on 01422 339600.