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Please note: If you need financial help because you are self-isolating and cannot go to work, you should talk to your employer about your options. You should also visit the UK Government Website

The UK government have imposed a two-week quarantine on people returning from selected foreign countries on their summer holidays. It primarily affects those countries who have seen a significant increase in coronavirus cases.

Quarantine measures are intended to stop the spread of COVID19 from these countries with a high number of infections, from entering the UK.

Although, the countries that are exempt, have been changing day by day. If you are planning on booking a holiday or are currently on your holiday, you may want to check the list of exemptions daily to ensure you understand the rules for returning from that country. You can also sign up to get alerts when a new country is added to or taken off the UK quarantine list.

You can find the list of countries and territories from where you can travel to England and may not have to self-isolate on the UK government website.

What financial help are you able to claim if you have to self isolate for 14 days? 

You’re not automatically entitled to statutory sick pay (SSP) if you are self-isolating after returning from holiday or business travel. The government website clearly states:

“You cannot get SSP if you’re self-isolating after entering or returning to the UK and do not need to self-isolate for any other reason.”

You are only entitled to SSP if you are self-isolating for the following reasons:

  • you or someone you live with has coronavirus symptoms
  • you’ve been notified that you’ve been in contact with someone with coronavirus
  • someone in your ‘support bubble has symptoms

Working at home

If you can work from home then you should do so and can be paid as normal. However, for many people, this is not an option and one of the alternatives below may apply.

Annual leave

If you cannot work from home then you could take annual leave so you can get paid while self-isolating. However, taking two weeks more holiday will eat heavily into most people’s annual leave entitlement.

Unpaid leave

For many people, taking two weeks unpaid leave is not an option and would leave them short of money to be able to pay their mortgage or rent and other bills and financial commitments.

Employer’s sick pay

Your employer could choose to pay you sick pay, either at the statutory rate of £95.85 a week or a higher level, but this would be at their discretion.

Furlough

If employees have previously been furloughed through the Job Retention Scheme, they could be furloughed again for the quarantine period and receive 80% of their salary. However, there is no obligation on employers to do this and, as employer contributions increase from August, they may be reluctant to do this.

If you have questions about paying employees for quarantining for 14 days on their return from holidays, please contact our Payroll expert, Chanelle Webb on cwebb@ellacotts.co.uk or 01295 250401.