Each individual instance will need to be considered on its own merits. If individuals are able to work from home, then they should be supported in doing so for the 14 day period.As a general principle, if an individual returns from an overseas holiday from a country or territory that is not on the exemption list (see previous FAQ), and they are unable to work from home, whilst they are self-isolating for the 14 days then this period should be treated as a combination of annual leave, unpaid leave and time off in lieu. Organisations may want to give sympathetic consideration to circumstances where the individual’s booking was made prior to 17 March 2020 (when Foreign and Commonwealth advice on travel was amended) and the individual is unable to secure a refund or been allowed to reschedule for a future date by the travel company/airline. There may be some cases where an individual needs to travel overseas for a family emergency or to attend a funeral or other long standing family matter. In these events, the individual may still need to self-isolate at home on return for a period of 14 days, depending on the country or territory that they travelled to, and they will receive basic pay for this period.
Individuals may be on holiday in an approved destination which then is removed from the list of exempt countries and territories. In this situation individuals will have to self-isolate for 14 days upon their return to the UK. In such situations individuals will be required to work from home where they can or if they are unable to work from home they will be supported in accordance with the self-isolation provisions set out in question 1 of these FAQs i.e. the absence will be treated as medical exclusion and will be paid at full pay. In these circumstances, the absence will be authorised absence. Eligibility for this support will be kept under review and will only apply to individuals in the affected country on the date that the advice from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office changed, e.g. the advice on travel to mainland Spain changed on 25 July 2020.
Where individuals have a holiday currently booked or choose to book a holiday to a destination which is not on the list of countries included in the exemption list or to a destination which subsequently is removed from the list and they still decide to travel, this will be in the knowledge that they will have to self-isolate for 14 days upon their return to the UK. In these circumstances they will have to work from home if they can and where working from home is not possible, individuals can arrange a combination of further annual leave, TOIL or unpaid leave.
In all cases individuals are required to have a conversation with their line manager before travel and plan how they will meet this guidance on their return.At this time, the exemption from self-isolation for individuals travelling from countries or territories that are not on the exemption list, applies only to a registered health or care professional travelling to the UK to start work. To qualify, those entering the UK will need to be able to provide evidence that they are due to start work within 14 days and have professional registration. Each organisation will need to take its own view on whether to start these individuals without the 14 day period of self-isolation.