Can a member of staff work while self-isolating?
Provided the employee is well enough to work from home, you can ask them to do so.
You cannot ask a member of staff who is following the guidance and self-isolating, to come into work. It is an offence to do so and you could be liable for a penalty, starting at £1,000 and rising to £10,000 (per offence) for four or more offences.
Can an employee come to work?
Also, an employee who is self-isolating cannot choose to come to work. If you allow an employee who you know should be self-isolating to come to work, you are committing an offence.
If an employee doesn’t tell you that they need to self-isolate and comes into work, you could still be liable (no one said it was fair). The best advice is to ensure that every employee is told, preferably in writing or by email, that they must notify you if they are required to self-isolate and failure to do so could result in disciplinary action and possible dismissal.
Where an employee says they need to self-isolate, you can ask them to get an “isolation note” which can be obtained on line.
If a member of staff is self-isolating, they should be paid SSP (Statutory Sick Pay) and for coronavirus SSP, the pay must be from the first day of self-isolation. (Hint – it may be better to furlough them for the period of self-isolation).
There is an exception to the requirement to pay SSP. This is when the employee is required to self-isolate following travel for personal (not work related) reasons. If the employee goes on holiday abroad and needs to self-isolate on return, you can’t ask them to come to work but you don’t have to pay SSP either. If they work from home you must pay them as normal.
You are not alone in your confusion, and we will do our best to help with any problems or issues you may have.
As always, our clients for which we process payroll will get priority but if you process your own payroll (why?) and are stuck, you can give us a call.