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As lock-down eases and hopes of a semblance of normality rise no doubt many of you are thinking about your holiday. Some of you may have longstanding bookings and are hoping either to travel or to get a cancellation and refund.

You may not all have realised the implications of government regulations that you

  • need to provide journey and contact details to your employer when you travel/ return to the UK
  • are not allowed to leave the place you are staying for the first 14 days you are in/ return to the UK

UNISON can’t tell you what do do about your holiday but we wanted to make sure that people were aware of the issues as soon as possible and encourage people to have a conversation with their management early. There is guidance that will certainly apply to all NHS and local government sector employees that should ensure equitable treatment but leaving it until the last minute is where we anticipate members might run into problems. So ACT NOW

There is always Croyde Bay

Infromation below taken from NHS employers guidance full text here https://www.nhsemployers.org/covid19/staff-terms-and-conditions/quarantine-and-self-isolation-on-entering-or-returning-to-the-uk

NJC Local Government guidance can be found here http://msgfocus.com/files/amf_unison/project_131/NJC_Circ_Coronavirus_and_Quarantine_05Jun20.pdf

Currently, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office’s advice on travel abroad is that people should not do so unless it is essential and there are new rules in place for entering the UK because of COVID-19 from Monday 8 June . The rules apply to residents and visitors although there is a list of exceptions.

All requests for annual leave need to be submitted to the manager for approval in any event and it may still be possible to go. Managers must consider:

  • the impact of the request on maintaining service delivery
  • the need for employees who may have worked hard throughout the crisis to have time for rest and recuperation.

There is instruction to managers to be sympathetic.

Options to consider for how the quarantine period could be treated may include:

  • The use of appropriate paid or unpaid leave to cover the quarantine period e.g.
    – take additional paid annual leave (from their usual leave allowance)
    – take unpaid annual leave
    – take special leave (paid/unpaid)
  • whether the employee is able to work from home
  • making up some or all of the 14 days’ leave over a period of time through working additional hours/shifts over their normal contracted hours.
  • where unable to work from home whether temporary reassignment of appropriate work would be possible so that they could work from home.

There is no one-size-fits-all answer to this issue so for those employees who cannot work from home during quarantine, employers should consider using a combination of some or all of the different types of leave options shown above and give sympathetic consideration to certain circumstances which could include:

  • an employee who has extenuating circumstances such as a family funeral abroad
  • pre-booked holidays that cannot be cancelled without incurring financial cost (ie insurers will not reimburse cost) that were arranged before quarantine could have been envisaged
  • pre-booked holidays that the tour operator has not cancelled but has instead rescheduled on fixed dates which, if cancelled by the customer, would be at financial cost to them.

Please note, anyone who has had to travel for the purpose of their job, and has to quarantine on their return, would be entitled to continue to receive normal full pay.