Read our article on quarantine for more information

  • Check the approved list to see if employees need to quarantine

  • Consider carefully if you need to cancel employee holidays

  • Discuss all the options with your employee

For anyone entering the UK, the rules are that they must self-isolate for 14 days unless they are travelling from one of the following:

  • Within the common travel area (Ireland, Channel Islands or Isle of Man)
  • British overseas territories
  • One of the countries on the approved list – this list is long and changes on a day to day basis, you can find a full list here

It’s been in the news recently that Spain is no longer on this approved list and it’s caused a lot of worry for employers who’s employees have already booked and paid for holidays and now face the prospect of having to quarantine for a further 14 days after their holiday.

Can I Cancel My Employee’s Holiday?

Legally yes, under Working Time Regulations, Regulation 15 an employer can cancel pre-approved holiday by giving enough notice – which is equal to the length of the holiday period (so if your employee has one week booked, you need to give one weeks’ notice to cancel).

However, if your employee has already paid for their travel and accommodation this could cause a huge problem. You could be liable to reimburse them for their costs and your employee may put in a grievance, or could even argue that you’ve breached the implied terms of trust and confidence, resign and claim constructive dismissal.

What Pay Will My Employee Receive During Quarantine?

Government guidance has been updated on this. Guidance now expressly states those quarantining from abroad are NOT eligible for Statutory Sick Pay unless they or someone in their household is displaying symptoms of COVID-19.

What Are My Options?

We recommend talking to your employee about their holiday plans. Can they work from home on their return, so they can effectively quarantine? Can they rearrange their plans (a conversation with their travel agent or travel insurance may be useful here)? Can they take additional holiday to cover the 14 day isolation (this also means they have less holiday to take/carry forward into next year)? Can they take unpaid leave? Is there a way you can pay them for this time, then have them make the time up throughout the next couple of months? Discuss all the options and try to reach a suitable agreement that won’t penalise the employee unnecessarily.

Do you have questions about quarantine?

Give us a call at CUBE HR, we’ll be happy to advise you and we have policies and templates available to meet every HR need.

Why not check out our other blog on a similar topic Flexible Furlough – Wednesday Wisdom Session 1

You can also watch a range of other videos on our YouTube channel