Does my employer have to grant working from home?

It is recommended that an employer grants (where possible) the employee permission to work from home during a period of isolation, whether it be for themselves or someone else living within the household, such as children.

If it is not possible to arrange alternative work that can be completed from home, employers are encouraged to try to accommodate periods of self-isolation by granting annual leave, or unpaid leave if that is not possible.

What if I’ve been told to take sick leave whilst self-isolating?

If your employer was not able to accommodate working from home or annual leave you may be eligible for Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) while you are on sick leave or self-isolating. You can find out whether you’re entitled to SSP by consulting with your payroll umbrella company or employer directly.

Would I be eligible to be furloughed if I’m self-isolating?

You may speak to your employer or payroll umbrella company about whether you are eligible for the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (furlough). 

The furlough scheme can help if any of the following apply:

  • You’re at the highest risk of severe illness from coronavirus – also known as clinically extremely vulnerable - and are unable to work from home
  • You’re unable to work, including from home, due to caring responsibilities arising from coronavirus, such as caring for children who are at home as a result of school and childcare facilities closing, or caring for a vulnerable individual in your household

It’s important to note that your employer contributes to the Government furlough scheme and therefore they are not required to honour this.

Is there any other financial support available?

You might be able to get a payment of £500 through the Test and Trace support payment if you’re on a low income and meet all these conditions:

  • You’re employed or self-employed
  • You, or a child you’re the parent or guardian of, have been told to self-isolate due to coronavirus (COVID-19)
  • You cannot work from home and will lose income by self-isolating or staying at home to care for the child

The Test and Trace support payment is funded by your local council and therefore you would need to apply directly on their website.

There are a number of options available to employees when self-isolating due to Covid-19 however the ultimate decision does still lie with the payroll umbrella company or end-client, therefore we recommend you speak with them directly.

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