Employees in quarantine
Employees returning from a country listed on the Scottish Government’s quarantine list are legally required to quarantine for 14 days. This differs from those self-isolating in accordance with public health guidance (which includes those contacted as part of the Test & Protect program). Self-isolation applies to those who have developed symptoms of Covid-19, have tested positive for Covid-19 or who are living with someone who has symptoms or who has tested positive. Those in self-isolation must stay home for at least 10 days after symptoms begin and until they have been without a fever for at least 24 hours. Those who have been in contact with someone who has tested positive need to stay home for 14 days. More information on self-isolation and quarantine is available at gov.scot/publications.
The Health Protections (Coronavirus)(International Travel)(Scotland) Regulations 2020 requires the employee to stay at home for 14 days and to leave only in limited circumstances. The requirement does not extend to others within their household unless they are returning from the same trip.
Employers should start communicating with employees about what will happen if they are required to quarantine, bearing the following in mind:
- Employers cannot require and should not allow employees to physically come to work during any period of quarantine. There are a few exceptions depending on the nature of the employee’s work. For example, employees who work in agriculture may be able to isolate while they perform their work.
- Employers should make clear how any quarantine period will be treated, i.e. will it be paid, unpaid, deducted from annual leave, will the employee be furloughed, etc.
- Employers may wish to cancel requests for annual leave to destinations on the quarantine list, provided the statutory minimum notice is given.