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Coronavirus (COVID-19) – What are my rights?

Last updated 11 May 2020.


You might also want to look at our other Coronavirus pages:

Taking time off work

My workplace hasn’t shut. Do I have to go in to work if I’m worried about catching coronavirus?

Am I allowed time off work if I have to care for my children (who are now off school) or someone else who depends on me?

What is the risk that my employer treats me as absent without authorisation?

Can I get sick pay if I’m off work?

Can my employer count my absence towards my sickness record?

Can I take or change my annual leave?

Can I carry over my annual leave into next year if I can’t take it?

What if my employer asks me to stay home? Is it a suspension? Will I be paid?


If only one parent or carer is a key worker, can I send my children to school?

I’m a key worker but my child’s school/nursery has shut. What can I do about childcare?

How does the guidance on schools for children of key workers vary in Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales?

Will the government continue to pay for free childcare entitlements for children aged 2, 3 and 4, even though my child’s nursery is closed?

The schools are reopening, but I don’t want to send my child back to school because I am worried about coronavirus. Do I have to send them back to school?

Working from home

My employer has said I wouldn’t be able to work from home because I have my children at home and I’m a single parent. Can they do that?

I’m working from home but now that I have the children, I’m often interrupted and my employer insists that I either devote the whole day to work or take time off for dependants and have the day unpaid. What can I do to persuade them to let me work my hours but spread in the best possible way and with childcare interruptions allowed?

I feel as though I am being targeted because I have children. Do I have any rights?


My employer wants me to take a coronavirus test before returning to work. Can they make me do this?

I’ve been contacted by NHS test and trace in England, and told to self-isolate for 14 days. What pay do I receive while I am off work?


Can I be put on furlough if I cannot continue working for childcare/caring reasons?


Will I be able to claim any benefits while I’m off work because of coronavirus?

Where can I go for more help?

This advice applies in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. If you live in another part of the UK, the law may differ. Please call our helpline for more details.

If you have further questions and would like to contact our advice team please use our advice contact form below or call us.

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