Holiday and leave during coronavirus

Self-isolating after returning to the UK

Some people returning to the UK must self-isolate (or 'quarantine') for 10 days, depending on the country they’ve travelled from. This could include returning from:

  • a holiday
  • other personal travel, for example a family emergency
  • business travel

For more about self-isolation rules when returning to the UK in:

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 the person cannot work from home

If an employee cannot do their job from home, they may need to take extra annual leave to cover the 10 days of self-isolation. In some cases, this might mean their annual leave request is refused.

The employer can consider other options. For example, if the employer and employee agree, the person could be put on furlough ('temporary leave') for the time they're self-isolating.

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

If an employee is told to self-isolate by a test and trace service, they could be entitled to a £500 support payment from their local authority.

To be eligible, the person must be:

  • employed or self-employed
  • on a low income
  • unable to work from home and will lose income as a result of self-isolating

For more information about test and trace and support payments:

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 offering unpaid leave or special paid leave for some or all of the time they're in self-isolation.

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