When someone is told to self-isolate, they should stay at home and avoid going to work, school or other public places. They shouldn’t have visitors to their home either.

Your employee will be unable to work if they’re carrying or have been in contact with an infectious or contagious disease. That means they have a right to statutory sick pay, which is currently £94.25 a week and can be paid for up to 28 weeks. It’s normally paid from the fourth day of sickness. However, the Prime Minister has announced that it will be paid from the first day under emergency legislation.

The Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service (ACAS) says there’s no statutory right to sick pay if someone isn’t sick but can’t go to work because:

  • They’ve been told by a medical professional to self-isolate
  • They have to go into quarantine
  • They have travelled to an affected area and aren’t allowed back into the UK

However, the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) says that it’s still a good idea to treat it as sick leave or agree to take it as a holiday.

You might have to alter your policy to get a fit note if the employee has to self-isolate as they’ll be unable to submit it themselves. You may have to create or adjust a working from home policy while you’re there, focusing on working hours, legal rights and data protection.

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