After the decision was taken to re-impose quarantine restrictions on all those returning from Spain, there are some formal options employers can now take to support employees and ensure a smooth transition back into work.
It is important that employees notify their employer as soon as possible to let them know they will need to quarantine for 14 days, as recommended by the government. The best option recommended by Acas is to allow employees to continue to work from home during this isolation period, particularly if the employee is fit and healthy and doing so will not affect their ability to do their job. There is a focus on the need for employers to try to be as understanding as possible if the person cannot work from home, with employers having the option to offer additional annual leave, or unpaid leave across the 14 days. Employers also have the option to extend periods of furlough if an employee has already been placed on this scheme. Acas states that a combination of these options is also permitted, at the employer’s discretion.
There have been some questions surrounding statutory sick pay and although an employee is unlikely to qualify for this if they are not displaying symptoms of Covid-19, the employer does have the option to offer this if they want to.
From returning home, all employees must notify their employer of their requirement to isolate for 2 weeks and be cleared of all symptoms before returning to work, particularly if they are required to travel to work.