COVID-19 Q&A: My employee’s booked a holiday to Spain, what can I do?

Read on to find out what our employment law expert advises…

BrightHR Team

The UK government has reintroduced travel restrictions for holidaymakers returning from Spain after the 26th of July.

That means that anyone returning to England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland from Spain (including the islands) must self-isolate for 14 days.

The unexpected announcement causes travel chaos for those currently holidaying in Spain and those who have trips planned over the next few weeks.

So with that in mind, what should you do if an employee has a trip planned to Spain and still wants to go? We asked one of our employment law experts to explain…

Our expert’s answer

“First, you should think about how to manage the 14-day quarantine when your employee returns. Your employee could work from home for the period or take additional annual leave.

If homeworking isn’t possible, you could consider whether your employee could take paid or unpaid leave. But you’ll have to think about the possible impact this could have on your business.

Another option is to cancel your employee’s time off. But you’d need to give them notice of at least the same length as their annual leave. So, if they’ve booked two weeks annual leave, you’d need to give them at least two weeks’ notice of cancellation.

While this is an option that’s available, you should only see it as a last resort. Because your employee could suffer financial loss from a holiday cancellation. And there’s even the risk that they could resign and bring a claim for constructive dismissal against you.

To protect yourself and your business, it’s wise to create a travel policy to outline how you’d handle similar travel restrictions in the future. This will help your employees to make an informed decision before they request leave and book travel.”

Got a question of your own?

Call one of our friendly HR experts today. They’re available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to give you confidential legal advice.

So whether you need more information on managing holidays this summer or want guidance on what to include in your policy, our employment law experts are just a phone call away.

Simply ring us now on 0800 783 2806.