Renfrewshire Council

Last reviewed: 17.45 Wednesday 23 September

Holiday arrangements and quarantine measures

This page contains useful information about taking time off and arrangements for returning from abroad.

Holidays abroad and quarantine measures

This is an uncertain time for travel abroad and advice is likely to change at short notice.

The UK Government advice remains that people should not travel abroad unless it is essential and people returning from abroad will be required to self-isolate for 14 days - they will enter a period of quarantine and not be allowed to leave the place they are staying for the first 14 days they are back in the UK (unless in very limited situations). Though some countries and territories are now exempt from this rule, it is an ever changing situation. The latest change has seen travel to Spain (including the Balearic and Canary Islands) removed from the exempt list. Please follow UK Government foreign travel advice to stay up to date.      

In all circumstances, if you intend to travel abroad and are impacted by the 14-day quarantine measures, you must discuss this with your line manager as soon as possible in order to inform workforce planning and service delivery arrangements. You should work with your manager to explore all possibilities for cover during the quarantine period, such as, working from home (including doing alternative work at home), working the time back over the remainder of this current year, or some other mutually agreed approach.

Please also consider whether your personal travel insurance would remain valid.

The local arrangements for council staff (excluding teachers) who plan to travel abroad are:

Pre booked holidays before any quarantine measures or booked when there were no quarantine measures in place for the destination:

If you pre-booked your travel prior to the original quarantine measures on 22 May 2020, or booked a destination that was exempt at the time of booking you would have been unaware of any self-isolation requirements on re-entering the UK. Therefore, if all options have been exhausted and a solution to cover the 14-day quarantine period cannot be agreed, in these circumstances, you will not suffer detriment and a period of authorised absence can be approved where necessary.

Holidays booked after 22 May 2020 and to destinations where quarantine is not exempt:

After 22 May 2020, you will have been made aware of quarantine measures on re-entering the UK when booking holidays and therefore should discuss this with your manager. If all options have been exhausted and a solution to cover the 14-day quarantine period cannot be agreed, in these circumstances, you may be required to take additional leave (paid or unpaid) to cover the 14-day period.

Holidays and travel within Scotland

Travel to all holiday accommodation is now permitted and you can travel as far as you want within Scotland.

Please also remember that face coverings are mandatory on all forms of public transport, including trains, ferries and airlines.

Annual Leave

Even if you are not able to go on your usual holiday, we actively encourage you to take annual leave this year where possible in line with service needs. We know that balancing this new work/life reality is a daily challenge for many, so scheduling time off is essential to your continued resilience, physical and mental wellbeing. Looking after yourself while continuing to provide critical public services is vital, so it's important you have some time away from work to relax and recharge.

There may have been times recently when your service area would have been unable to cope adequately with fewer staff members and you may have been asked to cancel or shorten leave you had already booked and for that we are really grateful for your support and commitment. Staff are also reminded that whilst we do not want you to accrue a large amount of annual leave towards the end of the year, any unused annual leave can be carried forward for two years (up to 2022) and this will be managed within individual services.

However, we would hope that the vast majority of staff are able to use their full annual leave entitlement within this year, to have a well-deserved break.