Employees returning back from abroad

08 July 2020 | Anoop Sodhi

As rules become more relaxed about travelling abroad and having a holiday, the government has issued new guidelines for travelers returning back to the UK.

14 day quarantine period 

Effective from 8th June 2020, the government has imposed a 14 day quarantine period for those returning back to the UK from countries with a high covid 19 infection rates such as USA and Brazil.   Upon return travellers will be expected to provide their home address to border control.  The Government will enforce surprise checks and if not quarantined, such travellers will be subjected to a fine of up to £1000.

Employers will need to prepare for these new rules as it will take employees out of the business for an additional 2 weeks unless they can work from home. 

It is useful to know that there are other industries which are exempt from being isolated upon return from their holidays abroad owing to the huge space and lone working within their workplace such as seasonal (farm) agricultural workers and freight workers.  Additionally, those travelling to and from Ireland, Channel Island and the Isle of Mann are also exempt.

Air Bridges

Recently the government has announced a new scheme called ‘Air Bridges/travel corridor’ which came into in effect late June 2020.   Air Bridges/travel corridor allows UK travellers to avoid quarantine rules for countries with low covid-19 infection rates.  The government has released a list of countries exempt from the quarantine rule, see here.  

SSP payment

For other destinations which do not fall under the banner of ‘Air Bridges/travel corridor’, the traveller will be expected to isolate for 14 days and it will be unpaid.  No SSP payment would be made.  This is simply more of a precaution and a quarantine exercise.  If the employee returns back to the UK with covid 19 symptoms and have been advised by NHS/GP to self isolate with a confirmed sick note then yes SSP would be applied.  The 3 day waiting rule would not apply in this circumstance and the employee would be paid £95.85 per week for 2 weeks.  Businesses are able to claim ssp back from the government through the coronavirus statutory sick pay rebate scheme.

It is therefore advisable that a company policy should now be communicated to all with the above rules to avoid any ambiguity.   

The article is for general information purposes only and should you require any further assistance on the matter please do not hesitate to call our advice-line team on 01455 852028.

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