Coronavirus FAQ

What are the symptoms of coronavirus?

The most common symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19) are:

  • a dry persistent cough and/or
  • a fever

For most people, coronavirus will be a mild infection but it is important to follow government guidance to self-isolate when required to slow the spread of virus to others. Further information can be found here.

When should I self-isolate?


Current PHE advice is that if anyone in your household has the following symptoms, however mild, you should stay at home for 7 days (if you live alone) or 14 days (if you live with others):

  • a high temperature – this means you feel hot to touch on your chest or back (you do not need to measure your temperature)
  • a new, continuous cough – this means coughing a lot for more than an hour, or 3 or more coughing episodes in 24 hours (if you usually have a cough, it may be worse than usual)

Do not go to a GP surgery, pharmacy or hospital.

Use the 111 online coronavirus service to find out what to do (the website can be found here).

Only call 111 if you cannot get help online.

Self-isolation advice can be found here


How do I inform Unitemps that I am self-isolating?

If you are unwell or unable to work then you should follow the usual sickness procedure and inform your line manager and/or Unitemps as soon as possible before your shift is due to start, giving the reason for absence and the likely duration of your absence.

If you are well then, depending on your assignment, working from home may be an option so you may want to discuss this with your line manager.

Will I be paid if I self-isolate?

If you are well and, in discussion with your line manager, it has been decided that it is possible for you to work from home, then you would be paid for any hours worked.

If you are required to self-isolate (see criteria above) and you are unwell or unable to work from home, then you will be able to claim statutory sick pay provided that you meet the statutory requirements. Due to the current situation you can now claim from Day 1. Details on SSP can be found here.

Please contact your Unitemps branch about what evidence is required. You will not need a note from your GP. If the branch requests an isolation note please use the 111 coronavirus service website (see here) if you fall into one of the following two categories:

  • if you have symptoms of coronavirus
  • if you live with someone who has symptoms of coronavirus

Unitemps reserves the right to ask for further information about the rationale for self-isolation. Any dishonest claims may result in your removal from our register.

What happens if my workplace is closed down?

If your workplace is closed due to a coronavirus outbreak, then your hirer will instigate their business continuity plans – these plans will vary by client but may involve staff being able to work from home. Speak to your line manager to find out what your local arrangements are.

If you are able to work from home, then you would be paid for any hours that you worked. If you are unable to work whilst your workplace is closed, then you will not be paid.

What should I do if I am I’m more vulnerable to the coronavirus?

If you are classed as being in a vulnerable group you are strongly advised to follow social distancing guidelines (see here for more details). If you are not already doing so you should speak to your line manager to determine whether it is possible to work from home. If it is not possible to work from home then you may be able to claim SSP or Universal Credit.

The situation is changing rapidly and Unitemps will continue to monitor government policy and legislation with regards to this and will make any changes to these FAQs, as well as to our policies and processes, as required.