The government says that a parent will not be classed as ‘self-isolating’ even if their child has been asked to do so unless their child:

  • exhibits symptoms or tests positive for the coronavirus
  • they are experiencing symptoms or have tested positive
  • they have returned from a non-quarantine exempt country abroad
  • or they have been told by the NHS to self-isolate.

If you are self-isolating, normal rules apply. If you're self-isolating you can get sick pay (if you're eligible), except in cases where self-isolation is necessary as a result of travel to a non-quarantine exempt country.

If you're not self-isolating but your child has been asked to self-isolate, you are legally entitled to unpaid time off.

You can also get unpaid time off if you have to make arrangements for the provision of care, or such arrangement has been disrupted, in the case of the death of a dependant, or where there has been an unexpected incident involving the dependant at school.

You have to tell your employer 'as soon as reasonably practicable' about taking the time off, the reason and how long you expect it to be. 

The government advises that the length of time should not usually be more than two days. Ultimately though, employers should consider the coronavirus situation when establishing principles around a ‘reasonable’ amount of time.

Alternatively, employees should talk to their boss about how an extended period of time off will be dealt with. It may be that employees can work from home where possible, or a temporary period of other flexible working options are arranged.

If you need help or have a specific question about taking time off, asking for leave, or any other work related question. 'Enhanced Support' subscribers can email the Organise team for 1-1 personalised advice.

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Disclaimer: Any guides provided by Organise are for self-help only. These templates are not tailored to your specific circumstances, do not constitute legal advice from qualified lawyers and are not covered by lawyer-client privilege. All decisions you make on legal matters are your full responsibility and you agree to obtain advice from a qualified lawyer regarding any legal issue of enough importance to reasonably require it.