Spanish Quarantine: Are employees entitled to sick pay?
Following concerns about a second Covid-19 peak, the FCO have now imposed a 14-day quarantine period for all individuals returning from Spain. It is likely that further quarantines will be imposed affecting travel from other countries over coming weeks and months.
Although the quarantine will mean that employees are prevented by operation of law from attending the workplace following their return from any Spanish trips, the government have now confirmed that SSP will not be available for any employee who is subject to any such quarantine. The gov.uk website has been updated to say that an employee cannot get SSP if they are self-isolating after entering or returning to the UK and do not need to self-isolate for any other reason than the quarantine.
This decision complicates things for employers who may not actually have an automatic right to withhold payment from their employees in this circumstance unless they have specific provision for this in their contract of employment. Furthermore, Dominic Raab has stated that employees “must not be penalised” by their employer for being unable to work due to being subject to quarantine, suggesting that employee should receive payment for any time spent away from work on this basis.
Specific advice will need to be sought in respect of any cases which may present themselves in practice in order to clarify the available options however, employers should be aware at this stage that any employee who is unable to work due to being quarantined may be entitled to full pay.
Further updates to follow as soon as possible