Coronavirus quarantine and work

(153 Posts)

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VocalDuck Wed 26-Feb-20 10:06:48

Posting in here for traffic really.

I got back from Italy at the weekend (in the north, but not a town that is quarantined or any current cases of coronavirus).

Following the advice on the news to self isolate, I asked my GP surgery as the town I was in (near Verona) wasn’t mentioned and was told to stay home for 14 days. However, whilst work support me staying home they are looking into whether it will be unpaid leave or not. There is little I can do to wfh and their current view is that I’m not ill, so it’s not sick leave. I don’t have enough annual leave left to take (and have handed in my notice so can’t even borrow leave or work overtime to build up hours once back).

I just wondered if anyone was experiencing the same and what their employers stance had been? I’m trying to get hold of ACAS so I’ve got as much info as possible for when my HR calls me back.

I suppose my AIBU is I feel it should be paid although I do appreciate I am well yet not working. However, it’s not like I can go out and do anything sociable or fun.

I’m hoping they were just caught off guard (this is probably fairly unprecedented in some respects) and after having a think and chat, will agree to pay. Although I wonder if they are worrying about large numbers of employees ending up in quarantine and the financial implications of paying them all.

YABU = unpaid
YANBU = paid

OP’s posts: |
Knowhowufeel2 Wed 26-Feb-20 10:09:37

Can't see voting options, tbh, I think YABU but I'm not 100% sure on this one.

geekone Wed 26-Feb-20 10:15:31

I think this is difficult, I understand people need money and need to get paid but also how are companies meant to cope with paying people who are not able to come in to work?

TheAugusta Wed 26-Feb-20 10:16:08

I think it should be paid as otherwise people who can’t afford to take that much time off unpaid (most of us!) will be forced to go into work and that could lead to the virus spreading in a worse case scenario. However I think the state should pay this rather than employees because this is the public safety advice that they are giving.

BabyWenger Wed 26-Feb-20 10:17:07

Surely it should be paid.

Crunchymum Wed 26-Feb-20 10:18:09

It's a difficult one.

We have the option to WFH so it is an optione for us to self quarantine (and someone already has - they were in South Korea and Japan - returned 10 days ago - so were asked to WFH for 14 days!)

I think if the virus does continue to cause issue / reaches pandemic status then it really does need to be paid leave, to ensure people actually take it!!! Most people can't afford to take unpaid leave for that length of time!!

How paid leave can be made mandatory is another question though!!!

WhentheDealGoesDown Wed 26-Feb-20 10:18:42

I also think the state should pay as they are the ones imposing the quarantine/self isolation, a bit like how they pay if you have to do jury service, so similar to that really


RunningAwaywiththeCircus Wed 26-Feb-20 10:19:35

The UK government advice is that you only need to self-isolate if you’ve been to those specific towns, isn’t it? If you haven’t (and are quarantining anyway) then YABU.

Your GP is also in the wrong.

Tulipan Wed 26-Feb-20 10:20:14

If it's not an area in quarantine, and not under national uk guidelines to self isolate if returning from that town, I would go to work - unless they want to pay to keep you at home.
If the uk guidelines (not your gp) are to self isolate if returning from that town, then I guess you have to follow that regardless of lack of pay. Sorry tho cos it is crap!

bugbhaer Wed 26-Feb-20 10:21:22

This is what would don’t seem to understand when they bang on about “lockdown”. OP doesn’t get paid and reduces spending. Her work can’t afford to pay her, but neither is their business running - no income, no salaries paid, no tax paid. Things very quickly escalate.

notanotherjigsawpiece Wed 26-Feb-20 10:21:23

It’s unprecedented so may be worthwhile contacting ACAS or similar for advice. As a previous small business owner, having to close up and still pay staff would have caused me immense hardship. But I appreciate most people can’t afford 2 weeks unpaid leave either sad

Tulipan Wed 26-Feb-20 10:21:35

I overheard someone in aldi talking about this yesterday - they were supposed to self isolate but wouldn't get paid. I moved away sharpish!

helpfulperson Wed 26-Feb-20 10:22:30

I would phone 111 for confirmation but my understanding is you only need to self isolate if you have symptoms unless you were in one of the quarantined areas

notanotherjigsawpiece Wed 26-Feb-20 10:23:27

Actually just reading this again - it doesn’t look as though you need to avoid work if you don’t have symptoms, unless you were in a lockdown area. I’ve attached advice from the UK chief medical officer.

HoneyBee03 Wed 26-Feb-20 10:27:07

As PP have said, the government is advising that you only self-isolate if you have symptoms. Otherwise you can carry on as usual.

The only reason you need to self-isolate regardless is if you were in one of those specific towns. I know a few people who have just come back from north Italy and it's business as usual. So no, you shouldn't expect to be paid if you're just choosing to stay at home.

WhentheDealGoesDown Wed 26-Feb-20 10:29:12

I would go to work if you haven't got symptoms as that is the government advice so YABU for that but YANBU to expect to get paid if you are following government advice

VocalDuck Wed 26-Feb-20 10:29:27

Just to reiterate my GP said to self isolate and my employer agrees with me doing so.

OP’s posts: |
EC22 Wed 26-Feb-20 10:29:30

If you have to self quarantine you should be paid, but you are not in that category.

WhentheDealGoesDown Wed 26-Feb-20 10:32:00

Are you showing any symptoms then, but I thought if you were you shouldn't go to the GP

onalongsabbatical Wed 26-Feb-20 10:32:54

If not returned from lockdown area specifically, you don't need to self-isolate UNLESS you have symptoms. Both your work and your GP are giving you the wrong info. Can ACAS intervene on your behalf?

Hobbesmanc Wed 26-Feb-20 10:34:47

We got back from the Venice carnival. I don't think your GP or your work are following current guidelines. You should only self isolate if you visited one of the quarantine zones or you are showing flu like symptoms.

Tarararara Wed 26-Feb-20 10:35:02

Your employer can't have it both ways! Either they accept govt advice and have you in the office as usual, or they ignore govt advice and insist you quarantine, in which case they need to pay you. Your GP's advice (which contradicts govt) is irrelevant in this situation. Present it as a choice to your employer.

RunningAwaywiththeCircus Wed 26-Feb-20 10:36:25

Just to reiterate my GP said to self isolate and my employer agrees with me doing so.

Then they are both daft and should read what PHE is actually advising!

VivaLeBeaver Wed 26-Feb-20 10:36:59

Well if they decide it's unpaid I'd tell them I'm coming in - see how they like that!

Tulipan Wed 26-Feb-20 10:40:44

Your GP is not the person to ask, nor is 111. You look at the national guidelines. If your employer still wants you at home then they can pay you.

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