People have been warned they don’t qualify for sick pay if they have to quarantine when returning from Spain after the Government suddenly reimposed 14 days self-isolation this weekend.
But the Government says there is recourse if you get fired for telling your boss you have to stay home for 14 days.
Employers may tell you to work from home, to take paid leave or to take unpaid leave – and some may make people redundant.
Downing Street said workers who lose their jobs because they are quarantining after returning from Spain could appeal to the Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service (Acas).
The Prime Minister’s official spokesman said: “There are existing systems in place should a dispute occur between an employer and employee and that is the employee can take that dispute to Acas for settlement.”
Downing Street said holidaymakers who miss out on work because of the quarantine period may be eligible for Universal Credit or employment support allowance but not statutory sick pay.
The Prime Minister’s official spokesman reiterated that the Government expects employers to be “flexible” in allowing staff to work from home while self-isolating.
“Where this isn’t possible we would expect that many employers would have their own policies in place for quarantine and we know that some continue to offer full pay for all or some of the isolation period,” he added.
“But if there are people who need urgent support then they may be entitled to the new-style employment support allowance or Universal Credit.”
Pressed on whether ministers would review statutory sick pay eligibility, he said: “We always keep our response to the pandemic under review and we regularly assess the support available but there is support available for those in need.”
Downing Street said its move to enforce a 14-day quarantine on holidaymakers returning from Spain was “announced straight away” after a decision was taken based on new data on case numbers.
The Prime Minister’s official spokesman said: “We got new data from the Spanish health ministry on Friday and that showed that new cases reported across the Thursday and Friday were 75% higher than those reported on the previous two days.
“This pace of increase, together with the high seven-day case rate for Spain and the picture of increasing cases across most regions, represented a significant change.
“In response, Public Health England and the Joint Biosecurity Centre decided to undertake an urgent review and they updated ministers at a meeting on Saturday, and in light of that significant change ministers agreed urgent action was needed to protect the health of the UK public.
Downing Street said that “no travel is risk-free” during the pandemic and warned holidaymakers that “disruption is possible” when heading abroad.
The Prime Minister’s official spokesman said: “Decisions on border measures and travel advice can be changed rapidly if necessary to help stop the spread of the disease.
“Unfortunately no travel is risk-free during this pandemic and disruption is possible and so anyone travelling abroad should be aware that our travel advice