Following the Government’s decision to move Portugal onto the amber list of countries to visit, advice to businesses from many employment lawyers is to ensure you have a post-holiday quarantine policy in place that deals with how any quarantine will be treated and makes clear that employees must quarantine no matter what the impact on both employee and business, and to avoid any potential discrimination claims.
Communicating the policy to your staff and having open and honest discussions before the issue arises is key. Planning ahead and making the options clear now, before any further countries are added to the amber and red lists, will ensure employees know the possible outcome should they need to quarantine on their return from a trip overseas.
If staff are working from home, they can continue with that arrangement during their 10 day quarantine period. Employers that require their employees to attend their place of work have a few options regarding how to treat the quarantine period: they can ask their employees to take paid holiday; take another form of paid leave; or take that time off as unpaid leave. However, some employers may wish to apply a less lenient approach to staff who knowingly book a trip to an amber list country
The advice also suggests that employers also make a distinction between the way they treat quarantine time, in terms of pay, when an employee knowingly goes to an amber or red country, as compared to those who go to a green country, presuming that it will remain green.
If you need help with creating a Post Holiday Quarantine Policy, please get in touch.