If you need to make plans for travelling outside of Covid-19 travel corridors

All staff are reminded that the following guidance remains in place:

If you find that you need to make overseas travel plans to countries outside of the Covid-19 travel corridors which you consider to be essential, please discuss this in advance with your line manager. Your manager will need to ensure that all requested absence can be covered by your team and this will need to include a 14-day period of quarantine on your return. Until your line manager is able to provide this assurance on a case by case basis, you are advised not to book any such travel. Agreement is required for how your 14-day period of quarantine absence will be managed, which may include homeworking, working the time back, taking annual leave or unpaid leave, or a mixture of the available options.

Please be aware that countries on the Covid-19 travel corridor list are changing frequently and with little notice. Employees making plans to travel to countries currently exempt from quarantine on their return home should still discuss and agree with their manager what arrangements will be in place should a 14-day period of quarantine become necessary.

Pay options relating to quarantine

The four options below are subject to annual leave being agreed in advance of travel:

Option 1 – The employee can request to work from home for the quarantine period
Option 2 – If the employee cannot work from home, they can request to be paid as normal and work the time back over a period to be agreed with their manager and before 31 March 2021 at the latest
Option 3 – The employee can take annual leave or request authorised unpaid leave to cover the quarantine period
Option 4 – The employee can request any combination of the above options to cover the quarantine period, which the manager will consider alongside the needs of the service

Following discussion with the employee, should managers require further clarification or advice on how to manage the quarantine period they should contact HR Consult.

Guidance on how to record each of the options on Healthroster is available here.

If you become unwell
Finally, regardless of whether or not staff are returning from trips overseas, should they experience any Covid-19 symptoms, they must contact occupational health to request a test (swab/PCR) and must not attend work until cleared to do so.

In addition to the main publicised symptoms of a high temperature, a new continuous cough or a loss of, or change in, the normal sense of taste or smell (anosmia), a test should be requested if you have other symptoms suggestive of a viral illness such as; hoarseness, non-persistent cough, nasal discharge/congestion, shortness of breath, wheeze, headache, muscle aches and nausea/vomiting/diarrhoea.

It is also necessary to contact occupational health before you start back to work if you were in contact with a confirmed or suspected case of Covid-19 whilst travelling.

Subject to the annual leave being agreed in advance of travel, there are four options available to employees and managers in the treatment of the required quarantine period on return to the UK. The four options are as follows:

Option 1 – The employee can request to work from home for the quarantine period.
This should be recorded on Healthroster as working day absence – ‘Working off site no enhancements’

Option 2 – If the employee cannot work from home, they can request to be paid as normal and work the time back over a period to be agreed with their manager and before 31 March 2021 at the latest.
For Healthroster: Select all duties that are not to be worked in the 14-day quarantine period and cancel with the reason: Quarantine 14 days return to UK. Do not make any type of absence entry. Their hours account column will show as owing hours – ensure all extra hours worked to pay this back time are entered as you go through the year, and as the staff member pays back their hours the owed column will need to be back to zero by March 31st.

Option 3 – The employee can request authorised unpaid leave to cover the quarantine period.
For Healthroster: Enter Other leave type ‘Unpaid Authorised Leave’ for the 14-day quarantine period
• Check the entry has 2 weeks contracted hours attached – ie 75 hours if F
• Pro-rata if part time

Option 4 – In exceptional circumstances the employee can request authorised paid annual leave to cover the quarantine period, e.g. if the employee has a compelling reason for the travel, for example to attend a significant overseas family event or occasion.
For Healthroster: Enter Annual Leave for the 14-day quarantine period
• Ensure the staff member is not exceeding their AL entitlement for the year

The employee can request to their line manager any one or combination of all four options to cover the quarantine period, which the manager will consider alongside the needs of the service.
The position regarding the easing of lockdown restrictions and overseas travel requirements is subject to frequent change, therefore the Trust will continue to review and revise its position in light of each three-weekly Government review. All staff are asked to check the latest advice at www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice.