Self-isolation

We have produced this guide to provide you with an overview of these measures. Information is still being released and we will update our information for members as soon as it becomes available. Last update: 5th November 2020

If you are asked to self-isolate 

 If you are asked to self-isolate, do not go into work. You may be asked to self-isolate if you test positive for Coronavirus, or if someone you live with has tested positive, if you’re instructed to self-isolate by NHS test and trace.  

 The law says that if you should self-isolate and you go to work, then you could be fined. This fine is a minimum of £1000 for a first offence. This increases if you do it again and can be up to £10,000.  

 The fine could be more than this. The law describes another offence. It says that it is an offence if someone fails to self-isolate when they should without reasonable excuse, contacts others, and is “reckless as to the consequences of that close contact”.  

The fine for this starts at £4000 and is possible that someone going to work when they should be self-isolating may commit this offence.  

You might also get in trouble at work if you attend work when you should be self-isolating, and this could be treated as gross misconduct and you be likely to be dismissed. 

You should tell your employer that you are self-isolating at the start and the end of the isolation period. You should tell your employer that you are self-isolating as soon as possible, and before your next shift.  

If you don’t notify your employer that you are self-isolating, you could again be fined, from £1000. 

 

Grants to support those self-isolating 

You might be able to get a single payment of £500 from your local council if you’re employed or self-employed and you can’t work from home. 

To get the payment you must be self-isolating at home because the NHS told you to or you tested positive for coronavirus. 

You should be able to get the payment if you get at least one of these benefits: 

  • Universal Credit 
  • Pension Credit 
  • Working Tax Credits 
  • income-related Employment and Support Allowance 
  • income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance 
  • Income Support 
  • Housing Benefit 

If you’re not getting any of the benefits, you could still get the payment if you’re struggling with your living costs because you can’t work. 

You can find out more and apply on your local council’s website – find your council’s website on GOV.UK. 

 

If you are asked to self-isolate but your employer pressures you to attend 

We hope that all employers would respect the law and would encourage those who must self-isolate to stay at home. 

If you are asked to attend work when you should be self-isolating you should refuse.  

If your employer knowingly lets a worker attend a workplace when they should be self-isolating, they can face a fine of up to £10,000. There is a minimum of a £1000 fine for a first offence.  

if your employer threatens you with a warning or dismissal because your refuse to attend because you are self-isolating, you are protected under the law. 

Your employer legally must not place you at detriment because you take steps to protect others from danger. Get in touch with us for advice if you are in this situation.