BRITS returning from France, Malta and the Netherlands will be forced into quarantine – and many will be wondering how that affects their job.
Travel plans have been thrown into chaos after the government confirmed all three countries were being kicked off the safe list.
It now means holidaymakers will have to quarantine for two weeks upon their return from these countries, starting from 4am tomorrow.
And worried holidaymakers will want to know how this affects their working arrangements.
Brits have been frantically trying to get back from France today to try and avoid the quarantine restrictions, with holidaymakers told not to turn up at Eurostar terminals without a booking.
Eurotunnel Le Shuttle, which runs the service for vehicles crossing the channel, has issued a similar warning, with its services now fully booked until Saturday.
Flight prices have also shot up, with one British Airways journey from Paris to London, leaving this afternoon, increasing from £100 to £400.
Around half a million Brits are thought to be in France right now.
But what does this mean in terms of your job if you have to quarantine on return? We explain.
It’s ultimately up to your boss to decide how they handle any holiday requests.
If the holiday was booked some time ago, particularly before any restrictions were introduced, then employers should be more flexible to any quarantine rules.
But last-minute breaks that were booked with the knowledge that you might need to quarantine are less likely to go down well with your employer.
Kate Hindmarch, partner and head of employment team at Langleys Solicitors, says bosses can even require you to cancel your holiday.
She said: “But this must be done lawfully and employers should be very cautious if opting for this route, as it is the most drastic option.”
You should speak to your employer as soon as possible to discuss your options.
Again, this is down to the discretion of your employer – but there are several options.
If you can work from home, and your boss is happy to let you do this, then your pay shouldn’t be affected.
This is because the quarantine rules don’t affect you working, it just means you can’t leave your home.
Ms Hindmarch said: “Just because an employee is required to quarantine, does not mean that they can’t carry out any work – it only prevents the employee from physically attending their place of work.
“Therefore, if the employee can work from home, the employer can require them to do so.”
For those who can’t work from home, you may be allowed to take additional holiday days to avoid losing pay.
But if you don’t have enough days to cover the quarantine period, your boss could ask you to take unpaid leave instead.
You won’t be able to claim statutory sick pay (SSP) if you need to quarantine.
The same applies to workers who are shielding following a change in the rules on August 1.
In regards to the pandemic, you’re now only entitled to SSP if you’re showing symptoms of coronavirus.
In this scenario, you should self-isolate for at least ten days and you shouldn’t go to work or even leave your home.
See the NHS website for more on what to do in this situation.
The weekly rate for statutory sick pay is £95.85 for up to 28 weeks, although most employers will pay more than this.
Ms Hindmarch said: “It would be inappropriate to treat the quarantine period as sick leave, as such absence does not fit in with the definition of sickness absence and sick pay would not be available.”
We’ve rounded up everything you need to know about getting a refund if you’ve got a holiday booked to France.
Most new travel insurance policies now have clauses that won’t cover holiday cancellations due to coronavirus.
When will the UK travel quarantine list be reviewed? The latest on countries including France and Spain.