One of my employees needs to quarantine after going on a holiday – what are their entitlements?
02 Feb 2021
- Business Law
- Business services
- Employment Law
Employers cannot stop employees from going on holidays. However, they should have in place a clear policy about what happens if an employee goes on a holiday and then is required to self-quarantine when they return.
In 2020 a number of modern awards were amended to include some additional entitlements to address the impact of COVID-19 on the workplace. While the additional entitlements in some of the awards ended on 31 December 2020, there are still a number of awards which still have the relief until March, or in same cases June, 2021.
Full-time, Part-time and casual employees who are employed under one of these awards can access up to 2 weeks of unpaid pandemic leave (or more by agreement with their employer) if they can’t work:
- because they need to self-isolate in line with government or medical authorities, or on the advice of a medical practitioner, or
- because of measures taken by government or medical authorities in response to the pandemic (for example, an enforceable government direction closing non-essential businesses).
Employers need to ensure they are familiar with the currently provisions of any applicable award to make sure they are compliant. A workplace policy covering this situation should also set out the your expectations of employees in relation to:
- checking potential hotspots when booking travel to minimise the risk of having to quarantine
- expectations about working from home during quarantine
- any measures the employee is expected to take prior to returning to the workplace, for example providing evidence of a negative COVID test.