Thousands of British holidaymakers made the most of the Government easing lockdown restrictions to book trips overseas, including to the UK's most popular overseas destination, Spain. However, the short-notice announcement last week that anyone returning to the UK from Spain is now required to self-isolate in quarantine for 14 days may have a significant impact on those who may have expected to return to work immediately after their holiday.

In particular, this BBC article highlights the fact that individuals required to self-isolate (either having returned to the UK from specified countries or otherwise) do not have an automatic right to receive any statutory sick pay (paid at £95.85 per week) if they are unable to attend work as a result of being required to quarantine themselves. Workers who can work remotely will not be affected, but if this is not possible, workers potentially face a stark choice of two weeks without pay, or taking additional holiday to cover the period of self-isolation.

Employers do have the discretion to make payments to those self-isolating and from an employee relations perspective, this could well be an appropriate response, even when the business climate remains challenging.