Employees who have recently travelled to areas affected by coronavirus outbreaks may be told to stay away from work, even if they they themselves are showing no symptoms.
Similarly, anyone who has come into close contact with somebody who has been to those areas, or has been around those who have the virus , could be told to stay at home for a while.
Among those who have been told to isolate are Britons returning from Iran, parts of northern Italy, China's Hubei province and parts of South Korea, even if they have no symptoms. Those who have returned from Cambodia, China, Japan Korea, Iran, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam have also been told to stay at home and avoid contact with others if they show any symptoms. Public Health England has further information about travel destinations and self-quarantine here .
Anyone who has coronavirus is entitled to their usual sick pay from their employer. But what about those who have had to stay at home to self-isolate, even though they are not ill?
Will I still get paid if I can not go to work because I am self-isolating for coronavirus?
The short answer is yes, you should get sick pay, but it is more complicated than that as you are not necessarily entitled to it.
Health Secretary Matt Hancock has told the House of Commons that employers should consider self-isolation as "sickness for employment purposes". That means your boss should essentially treat you the same way as they would if you were ill.
But the sad news is employees have no legal right to sick pay for precautionary self-isolation when they have not been diagnosed, according to ACAS, the employment arbitration service.
ACAS says: "There's no legal ('statutory') right to pay if someone is not sick but cannot work because they:
If a medical expert tells you to go into quarantine, you are not automatically entitled to sick leave and sick pay, if you are not actually sick, although ACAS says it is 'good practice' for employers to treat it as a illness.
ACAS explains : "Otherwise there's a risk the employee will come to work because they want to get paid. They could then spread the virus, if they have it.
"The employee must tell their employer as soon as possible if they cannot work. It’s helpful to let the employer know the reason and how long they are likely to be off for."
ACAS also suggests offering a compromise by working from home, if possible.
However, if the employer tells the employee not to come to work, then the employee, even if they are not sick, should be entitled to their usual pay, ACAS says. You can read up about your rights to sick pay here , as they can differ depending on your job and contract.
In a nutshell, if your boss tells you not to come in due to coronavirus isolation, you are entitled to pay. If you tell them you can't come in, you are not automatically entitled to sick pay, but ACAS and the Government say your employer should treat you as if you are ill and pay you accordingly.
I don't want to go to work because I fear I may catch coronavirus - can I get sick pay?
No, if you are not sick and your employer maintains that they want you to com to work, then you won't get sick pay and keeping yourself off could land you in trouble.
Here is what ACAS says: "If someone is not sick but cannot work because they're in self-isolation or quarantine.
"There's no legal ('statutory') right to pay if someone is not sick but cannot work because they:
ACAS adds: "But it's good practice for their employer to treat it as sick leave and follow their usual sick pay policy or agree for the time to be taken as holiday. Otherwise there's a risk the employee will come to work because they want to get paid. They could then spread the virus, if they have it."
My work place has shut down because of coronavirus, will I get paid?
It is currently unlikely, ACAS says , that a business or place of work will shut down temporarily due to coronavirus. But it could happen.
If possible, employers and employees should arrange for home or remote working. But if the business has to close for a period of time, it has to pay its employees during that period, unless the employee and employer have signed a contract which agrees otherwise.