Ask the Care Specialists

Welcome to our 'Ask the Care Specialists', your one-stop portal for social care-related questions. Our team of specialists will try to answer as many of your Social Care questions as possible.

I’ve just been to an amber listed country for my hols. I am fully vaccinated, but now I need to take time off to take a COVID-19 travel test. Is this time classed as sick or unpaid leave?

I am returning to the UK after a holiday from a country that is on the amber list. I am fully vaccinated which makes me exempt from quarantine and self-isolation. My employer insists that I can return to work no sooner than after receiving a day 2 test result. Should that time be classed as sick leave or unpaid leave?

Thank you for your question. In the first instance please check your Annual Holiday Policy and Procedure as this should support you in this area. We have a policy in place that details the requirements people must follow with each of the red, amber and green travel lists, as per the current government guidelines (see here).

It also details that any quarantine periods, as a result of traveling, will be treated as unpaid absence and staff are not entitled to statutory sick pay. Holiday entitlement would be an option to consider to use in this instance, where possible, while you are off work. However, your local policy may be different.

Emily Watts

Domiciliary Care Policy Lead

Emily has a background in quality and compliance with specific expertise in audit. Her previous roles have included working with domiciliary care branches that required improvement and supporting them to action plan and improve their quality and compliance. Working at one of the largest UK domiciliary care providers ensured Emily was exposed to significant numbers of CQC, CIW and Care Inspectorate Scotland inspections. She led internal audits bench marking against regulatory standards , supporting managers in the drive to deliver high quality care and support. Emily has a proven track record in supporting the transformation of branches that require improvement, moving them to compliant and on the journey to outstanding. Read more

What would you like to ask our Specialists?

Have you got a social care question that you just can't find the answer to? Our team of sector specialists are here to provide you with easy-to-understand top tips on a wide range of topics, from dementia, mental health to employment law or every day operational queries to help you deliver outstanding care.

Our specialists will try to answer as many of your questions as possible, giving priority to frequently asked questions and questions regarding current events and trends. To learn more about the team visit:

Please note that our specialists cannot offer answers to matters requiring legal advice. If your matter concerns a specific service provider, please contact the CQC. If your query relates to someone who is at risk of harm or in danger you must follow your local safeguarding procedures.

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