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Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme: Quarantine

Question for Treasury

UIN 17690, tabled on 17 June 2021

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, for what reason his Department did not widely publicise that the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme could be used by employees who were self-isolating due to covid-19.

Answered on

22 June 2021

It has always been clear that the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme is designed to protect jobs. HMRC guidance has been clear from the start that the scheme is not intended for short term absences from work due to sickness, and self-isolation should not be a consideration for employers when deciding if they should furlough an employee. The Government has specific, separate support in place for those self-isolating and has always been clear that businesses should support staff who are self isolating to work at home where possible.

An extensive support package is in place for those self-isolating due to coronavirus including help for those on low incomes through the Test and Trace Support Payment scheme, where eligible individuals unable to work from home can receive a £500 one off payment, as well as Statutory Sick Pay being payable from Day 1. If an employer wants to furlough an employee for business reasons and they are currently off sick, then they are eligible to do so as with other employees. This has been set out in guidance since April last year.

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