Travel overseas for personal or recreational reasons – sent 30 July 2020

Email issued: 30 July 2020
From: Internal Communications
Subject: Travelling overseas for personal/recreational reasons

Although the government restrictions regarding overseas travel were relaxed early in July with quarantine requirements being removed for some countries, its advice still remains that ‘the global coronavirus pandemic is ongoing, no travel is risk-free, and disruption is still possible’. It also makes it clear that government ‘advice will remain under constant review to take into account the latest situation in each country’, and the possibility of quarantine requirements being reintroduced if necessary is reinforced.

It is likely that many staff who have booked holidays abroad will have had them cancelled or have decided to stay in the UK, but if you are planning to travel outside of the UK for personal/recreational reasons, please understand and consider the risks of doing so, including the possibilities that (i) your travel insurance may be invalidated, (ii) UK quarantine rules may be introduced before or while you are away, (iii) local lockdown measures may be introduced in the place that you are visiting, and/or (iv) you or a member of your party may become ill while overseas.

Whether and where you decide to travel on holiday is your personal choice. However, it is important that you understand the implications from a work perspective of travelling overseas for personal/recreational reasons during this period of great uncertainty. The increase in the rate of infections in a number of countries is highly likely to result in further travel restrictions and quarantine rules, hence the need to be clear about the implications for you in relation to work.

Travel from 1 August 2020

If you chose to travel overseas for personal /recreational reasons with an outbound journey from (and including) Saturday 1 August 2020 and you are required to quarantine on return or quarantine while overseas, even if quarantine rules were not in place at the time of your outbound journey:

  • The University expects your contractual obligations relating to work to be met;
  • If it was anticipated that you would be working from home for the whole of the relevant quarantine period, then that will be supported;
  • If you were expected to be working on campus for all or part of the relevant quarantine period, we may be able to allocate work to you that can be delivered from home and we expect you to be flexible in your approach to work. If remote working cannot be arranged, you will be required to take annual leave (from either the current or next year’s entitlement) or unpaid leave (but only if your current year leave entitlement is exhausted);
  • If you become ill during the quarantine period, you will be eligible for sick pay according to normal rules;
  • You are advised to discuss your circumstances with your local HR Manager who will provide advice and, where circumstances are exceptional, will provide support.

Travel before 1 August 2020

If you travelled overseas before 1 August 2020 (an outbound journey date in July 2020) and are required to quarantine upon returning to the UK, you are advised to speak with your local HR manager at the earliest opportunity.

  • If it was anticipated that you would be working from home for the whole of the relevant quarantine period, then that will be supported;
  • If you were expected to be working on campus for all or part of the relevant quarantine period, we will do our utmost to allocate work to you that can be delivered from home and will expect you to be flexible in your approach to work. If remote working cannot be arranged, your circumstances will be considered by your HR Manager and a combination of special paid leave (up to one week) and annual leave/unpaid leave will be required.

July 2020