By Caroline Cockbain, Associate Director.
The government has recently published new guidance for situations where employees are returning home to the UK from abroad and must self-isolate for 14 days, unless they are travelling from a country with a quarantine exemption.
The guidance provides that, where possible, employers should explore the option of allowing the employee to work from home during the self-isolation period and it emphasises that dismissal of an employee who may have got caught up in the quarantine restrictions should very much be a last resort.
The new guidance states that alternative arrangements (in situations where working from home is not an option) should be considered first, such as agreeing with employees to take annual leave (where they have enough leave remaining) or seeking to agree with the employee that they shall be on a period of unpaid leave during the 14-day quarantine period.
There are different quarantine rules (and penalties for breaching the rules) depending on whether you are travelling to England, Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland.
The rules and arrangements relating to quarantine are subject to change, sometimes at short notice, so it would be good practice for employers to tell staff that they should contact the employer to discuss matters further as soon as possible if quarantine is announced which affects their travel plans.
If you have any queries relating to your employees and quarantine arrangements, please do not hesitate to contact a member of the team on 0141 331 5150 to discuss matters further.