New government guidance published for employees self-isolating after returning to the UK
New guidance has been published for employees required to self-isolate for 14 days after returning to the UK. The guidance states that, where possible, employees should work from home during their self-isolation period. Where this is not possible, employees can agree with their employer to take leave to cover the period of self-isolation.
Employers are instructed to think carefully before dismissing an employee because they cannot work due to self-isolation. If they do dismiss the employee then the guidance warns that they may be liable for unfair dismissal, and emphasises that employment tribunals will consider all the relevant facts surrounding a dismissal, including the public health guidance on Covid-19. Instead of dismissal (which should be treated as a last resort) employers should consider alternative arrangements such as agreeing with employees to take annual leave or unpaid leave.