Holiday and leave during coronavirus

Published 30th July 2020

Holiday bookings are up from 500,000 a week in early April to 1.5 million a week! The rates of booking foreign holidays suggest that there is a huge amount of confidence and desire to travel abroad from the UK.

However, as the Government takes small steps in the right direction to relaxing rules, a vast majority of popular tourist destinations remain on the red or amber list. Countries on the red or amber list mean that travelers who have visited these locations must quarantine when they return to the UK.  However, with many countries now on the green list a number of your employees may be looking to take their holiday leave and make the most of travel overseas.

What you must do when you arrive in England depends on where you have been in the 10 days before you arrived home. You can view a full list of all the countries on the red, amber, and green list and your legal requirements to self-isolate here

It's important to check the latest government guidance before and after traveling. Read the latest guidance for:

England, see international travel and self-isolation advice on GOV.UK

Scotland, see Scottish government advice on

Wales, see Welsh government regulations on gov. wales

Employees who are legally required to self-isolate should be working from home and not traveling to work.

Where employees can't work from home

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.

Travel because of family emergencies

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

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