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Publication - Advice and guidance

Coronavirus (COVID-19): Test and Protect

Last updated: 2 Mar 2022 - see all updates
Published: 18 Feb 2021

Information and support for people who are asked to self-isolate because of COVID-19, including the Self-Isolation Support Grant (£500).

Coronavirus (COVID-19): Test and Protect
Staying away from work

Staying away from work

Employers will play a vital role in ensuring that their employees are aware of and able to follow the public health advice to self-isolate when asked to do so by the NHS. 

If an employee reports symptoms consistent with coronavirus, employers should make sure they self‑isolate at home straight away. Until they have been tested and told if it is safe to leave home, employers should make sure that staff do not have to, or feel that they have to, come in to work. 

If you are able to and you are not unwell, your employer can ask you to work from home while you are self-isolating.

The Scottish Government and the Scottish Trades Union Congress (STUC) made a joint statement on fair work expectations at the start of the pandemic, which still applies now: it said that no worker should be financially penalised by their employer for following medical advice, and any absence from work relating to COVID-19 should not affect future sick pay entitlement, result in disciplinary action or count towards any future sickness absence related action.

Employers should not ask someone isolating to come into work before their period of isolation is complete, in any circumstances. If you’re a member of staff, you should not be asked to go to your place of work, or leave the place where you are isolating.

First published: 18 Feb 2021 Last updated: 2 Mar 2022 -