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Self-isolation rules in force to returning Brits: Will you be paid if you can’t work?

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08/06/2020
As of today, anyone entering or returning to the UK after an overseas trip will have to self-isolate for 14 days or face a fine. But if you can’t work, what happens with your pay?

From Monday 8 June, you won’t be allowed to leave the place you’re staying for the first fortnight after returning to the UK from abroad, except in very limited circumstances.

The self-isolation rules also require travellers to complete a public health passenger locator form 48 hours before arrival in England which will need to be shown at UK border control.

You may be fined up to £100 if you refuse to provide your contact details, and in England, if you don’t self-isolate, you can be fined £1,000.

Further, if you don’t provide an accurate contact detail declaration – or don’t update your contact detail form in the limited circumstances where you need to move to another place to self-isolate – you can be fined up to £3,200.

As part of the rules, you can’t go out to work or school or visit public areas. You shouldn’t go shopping and should ask friends or relatives to help out.

While many people are able to work from home, for others, they may need to be physically present for their job.

What happens to these people who return to the UK but can’t do their job from home?

Kate Palmer, associate director of advisory at global employment law consultancy Peninsula, said: “Employees who have to self-isolate in accordance with government guidance to prevent infection with coronavirus are entitled to receive statutory sick pay if they meet the eligibility requirements and so it is likely that this period of self-isolation will also qualify, though confirmation on this is awaited.

“Employers may first wish to consider alternative ways of dealing with the requirement to self-isolate, including home working or annual leave which will ensure that full pay is maintained.”

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