Where employees are entering or returning to the UK they may be required to quarantine for 14 days. If an employee is unable to work during this period, they will not qualify for Statutory Sick Pay(SSP) unless they also meet one of the criteria below:
Current guidance for about self-isolation rules when returning to the UK can be found at:
England, see international travel and self-isolation advice on GOV.UK
Scotland, see Scottish government advice on gov.scot
Wales, see Welsh government regulations on gov.wales
Where employees are unable to do their job from home, they may need to take additional annual leave to cover the 14 days of self-isolation. However, employers are under no obligation to accept the request for additional annual leave so some may be rejected.
There are other options available to the employer. If the employer and employee agree the person could be put on furlough for the time they're self-isolating, however, the employee must have already been furloughed in order for the employer to make a claim under the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme.
Where employees are not entitled to SSP, if they're self-isolating after returning to the UK, and cannot work from home the employer can choose to pay them sick pay if they want to. However, the employer will not be able to reclaim the SSP from HMRC.
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.
If you require any further details on SSP please contact our payroll department