0333 212 3877


Home » News » Employer Update – COVID19 Travel Rulings & Guidance

Employer Update – COVID19 Travel Rulings & Guidance

On 26th July the UK re-imposed that anyone returning from Spain must quarantine (self-isolate) for 14 days.

How Can Employers Handle the 14 Day Required Quarantine Period?
There are a number of pre-planned actions that employers can take such as:
• Discourage business related travel if possible and instead carry out meetings electronically.
• Have a conversation with any employee visiting a country which will require them to quarantine upon their return. Discuss how this quarantine period will be handled and ensure the employee is aware of the guidance relating to the country they are visiting.
• Ensure you as an employer are aware of any last-minute changes to the ruling around quarantine and inform your employees that a plan can be agreed and implemented.

When a staff member returns from a country that requires a quarantine period, an employer has four main options to chose from with their employee. These are:

Remote working from home: If they can, then employees should be allowed to work from home for the 14-day quarantine period. If their role cannot be carried out via remote working, then it is unlikely they will be able to claim Statutory Sick Pay (SSP); this means it may go unpaid (see below).

Unpaid leave: If home working is not possible then as an employer you may agree with the employee that they can take the 14 days as unpaid leave. You must ensure this is fully explained to the employee and that they understand they will receive no pay including no sick pay for this time period.

SSP: As mentioned above, at present those returning from quarantine required countries are not eligible to claim SSP; quarantine cannot be treated as sick unless the employee genuinely is ill. If they or anyone in their household is experiencing symptoms of COVID19 then they may be able to claim SSP through this, also, those who are self-isolating as a result of the test and trace scheme are eligible to claim SSP. If an employee who is in quarantine should begin to experience symptoms of the virus during this time, then the usual rules regarding SSP for those with symptoms will apply.

Annual leave: Employers could consider introducing travel restrictions should the 14-day quarantine period be applicable via a temporary company policy stating this period must be taken as annual leave; however, employers should keep in mind that this is not an easy process. This could be seen as a breach of contract and could therefore cause employees to dispute this, or even leave the company and claim constructive unfair dismissal. The decision to do this should not be made in haste without proper consideration. Though some employees may agree to use annual leave for this period as opposed to unpaid leave, others may not.

What if my employee is already on holiday abroad and quarantine rules are imposed?

Employers should be flexible with employees who are already on holiday or about to depart when quarantine upon return is suddenly imposed. The priority for both employers and employees in these situations should be to remain home for 14 days to prevent the potential spread of the virus. The above options should be referred to in this instance and SSP cannot be paid for quarantine, only if the employee is self-isolating due to themselves or someone in their household showing symptoms or being diagnosed with Coronavirus.

I had the mis fortune to need Legal advice over an employment issue right at the start of the Covid 19 outbreak/lock down period. I had previously heard of JJL though an event that they run annually so thought why not give them a go. The service I received was excellent the whole team were attentive and explained all of the legal details in plain English. Within a week or so my issue was resolved successfully which given the current state of the country I was super impressed with. I would have no hesitation in recommending their services to anyone in need of legal advice.

I have been working with Joseph James Law for over a year now and have found each member of the team I have worked with highly knowledgeable and extremely professional. I have worked with Katarzyna for the most part and she has been very supportive, the communication between us has always been clear and timely especially when dealing with some highly sensitive issues.

ML Group

Thank you for your friendly & professional service. You have been instrumental in keeping our mind at peace with employment matters, helping us with comprehensive employment handbook as well as best practices. We value your guidance on case-2-case basis and trust you as you have our interests at heart.

Thank you for your help in this matter as I have no doubt we would not have managed it on our own.

Mrs C Steventon

Thank you so much to JJL for helping me through a really tough time with my employer. Without their time and legal expertise I am not sure what I would have done. They made calculated and rational decisions that assisted me get the best possible outcome.

Mrs H

Andrew and his Employment team made themselves available during times most people would consider after hours and the patience they had along with the time they took to explain the details of the case were truly above and beyond what was expected. Andrew did everything in his power to ensure the pro...

John F

My family and I were in need of professional legal advice regarding our late mother, Andrew Settle of JJL was professional, courteous and extremely understanding , which at the time was extremely helpful.

Trevor Price

As a relatively new commercial client of JJL solicitors we have been delighted by the results that they have achieved in a short space of time. They made the set up and process of transferring our debt recovery clients simple, straightforward and hassle free.

Mrs Brice

Fantastic service, I would highly recommend and would definitely use again if needed. Friendly staff, very fast response to any queries via email or phone and great advice and support was given throughout the process. Help was provided every step of the way. Nothing was too much trouble. I got the ...

Victoria D
< >