Self-isolation - Covid and work


Self-isolating (staying at home) is not a legal requirement if someone has covid-19 (coronavirus) symptoms or has tested positive.

To decide what their employees should do, employers should follow:

  • government guidance
  • their organisation's self-isolation policy, if they have one

Follow the government guidance for:

Sick pay entitlement

If an employee is not able to work because they're ill with covid, normal sick pay rules apply. They must get any sick pay they're entitled to.

Employees should check their organisation's absence policy to see what it says about reporting and proving sickness absence.

Policies on self-isolation

Employees should check whether their employer has a policy on self-isolation.

A policy can help employees to understand what they should do if they have covid symptoms or have tested positive.

A policy should say when to stay at home, and what types of support and pay are available in the organisation.

It should say:

  • what to do if someone goes to work but is unfit to work – for example, whether they're sent home and paid in full, in part or get statutory sick pay (SSP)
  • what happens if someone tests positive or has symptoms – for example, whether they should come to work or work from home
  • what happens if someone tests positive but has no symptoms – for example, whether they should work from home
  • the employer's legal obligations for the health, safety and wellbeing of employees – for example, how they'll support employees at home
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