In this pandemic, morality will come into play in many instances and there must be a measure of trust in the employer/employee relationship. If the employee has been asked by the public health authorities to isolate either at home or in a sanctioned facility, he/she is doing so due to possible exposure to a positive case and awaiting results, having been tested for the virus and/or displaying minor symptoms.
Early on, guidance was given by both the Union and the employer association to treat to this under sick leave pay entitlement policies, with some modifications for example on the timelines for receipt of certificates.
Ever mindful of the need to control community spread, employers should be especially committed to ensuring that a worker does not have to choose between securing his/her livelihood and the well-being of others. Consider the wider impact on and disruption to the business with a potential further spread of the virus throughout the workplace. Like most other things during this pandemic, though there is no legal precedent or obligation to pay at this time, it is about the greater good.
From the inception of this COVID-19 Virus, as matters arise we have been working closely with the Social Partnership, private sector associations, employer groups and individual businesses, to provide guidance and a practical framework for operating in this environment. We have always maintained that ensuring safe work and the protection of employees is also a safeguard for the business.