Holiday and leave during coronavirus (COVID-19)

Self-isolating after returning to the UK

Most people returning to the UK must self-isolate or quarantine for 10 days, depending on the country they've travelled from.

It's currently against the law to travel abroad for holidays. But people could be returning from:

  • other personal travel, for example a family emergency
  • business travel, where it's not reasonably possible to do the work in the UK

In most cases this means staying at home for 10 days. People travelling from some countries may need to stay in managed hotel quarantine.

It's important to check the latest government guidance before and after travelling. Read the latest guidance for:

Employees and workers who need to self-isolate should not leave their home to go to their workplace.

If the person can work from home, their work may not be affected by having to self-isolate.

If someone cannot work from home

If an employee cannot do their job from home, they should talk to their employer to agree what type of leave to use. Options could include:

  • extra paid holiday ('annual leave')
  • unpaid leave
  • any other type of 'special' paid leave the organisation might offer

Sick pay for self-isolating or quarantine after travel

Employees and workers are not entitled to Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) if they're self-isolating after travel abroad and cannot work from home. But an employer can choose to pay them sick pay – at the same rate as SSP or a higher rate – if they want to.

Someone may be entitled to SSP for another reason, for example if they have coronavirus (COVID-19) symptoms.

It’s a good idea to check your organisation's policy to see sick pay rules.

Find out more about Statutory Sick Pay (SSP).

Travel because of family emergencies

Employers should be respectful and fair towards employees and workers who need to travel because of a family emergency or the death of a family member outside the UK.

If the employee cannot work from home when they return, the employer could consider other options for some or all of the time they're in self-isolation. This could be:

  • unpaid leave
  • special paid leave

Find out more about:

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