Last week, it was announced that anyone returning from mainland Spain, the Balearic islands and Canary islands from Sunday 26th July, would have to self-isolate for two weeks, following a surge in coronavirus cases.

Understandably, holidaymakers and employers alike haven’t shied away from expressing their frustration, as they are now unable to return to work unless they can do so from home.

With a second peak possible and more quarantine announcements expected, we take a look at how employers can effectively manage staff absence during this period.

Work from home where possible

The simplest solution, and one which will mitigate a potential impact on business, is to encourage remote working for those who are self-isolating. Fortunately, many organisations will already be well-equipped for home working, which will enable businesses to function as normally as possible, with employees able to continue working on full pay.

Utilise an employee’s annual leave entitlement

If someone cannot return to work and they can’t work from home, they are not entitled to be paid. Likewise, anyone who is self-isolating and does not have coronavirus symptoms, is not entitled to statutory sick pay. This will leave many employees out of pocket.

To resolve this, one option is to relax your holiday policy and allow them to utilise their annual leave entitlement on their return, even if they can’t give you the normal period of notice you’d expect.

Advise employees not to travel to high-risk countries

It’s useful to set out guidance in a policy or staff update on what might happen if they choose to travel abroad and are asked to self-isolate afterwards.

Although you can’t dictate what your employees do during their time off, you can discourage them from travelling abroad to high-risk countries by making it clear that they will have to follow any quarantine advice in place.

Some people will have booked their holiday pre-lockdown, so bear in mind that they could still go, even if they have to quarantine afterwards.

How LeavePlanner can assist

LeavePlanner provides many tools and features to help manage employee absence allowances.

Start your free 30-day trial today.

For any queries, call Steve on 01252 636 070 or email