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'Essential' workers calling in 'sick'

(182 Posts)
twinkletwinkle00 Wed 25-Mar-20 15:22:35

What would you do?

My wife and I both work for businesses considered essential. She works for a bicycle company and I work for a food seller (online, specialised food so not a supermarket or anything along those lines).

We have two young children who aren't in nursery/school as we don't want them to be in contact with others if we can help it.

We're currently splitting our days and doing 3 each for our employers (one of us works on Saturday). We both work for small independent businesses with no cash flow issues, who realistically could shut up shop for a couple of months and get through fairly unscathed. Both our bosses want to keep making money which I understand but I really don't think it's fair for them to value cash over the health of their workers?

Would we be unreasonable to happen to come down with symptoms that require us to self-isolate? We could get a mortgage holiday and juuust scrape by on SSP. What would you do? I just don't feel it's right to put ourselves at risk like this. I wish our bosses would just close and take the government grant. I just feels so unfair.

Sorry if this should be in the coronavirus topic... I couldn't find it!!

somegoodnewsforonce Wed 25-Mar-20 15:25:33

The person who has symptoms isolates for 7 days and the others for 14 days. What do you plan to do for the rest of the crises?

twinkletwinkle00 Wed 25-Mar-20 15:26:58

@somegoodnewsforonce god I don't know. Hope that the list of essential businesses as defined by the government is amended so as to not include us?

DrMadelineMaxwell Wed 25-Mar-20 15:29:19

How is working in a bike company essential to the Covid system?

Spam88 Wed 25-Mar-20 15:29:22

Understand the temptation, but what are you going to do if during your fake isolation period you actually develop symptoms and need to isolate longer than you initially told your bosses?

APurpleSquirrel Wed 25-Mar-20 15:29:36

Tbh I doubt those businesses will become exempt from the essential business list - one provides food the other transportation, so both are deemed essential.
Are you both going into work or wfh?

JuanSheetIsPlenty Wed 25-Mar-20 15:30:58

How is a bicycle business essential?

WinterCat Wed 25-Mar-20 15:31:18

Understand the temptation, but what are you going to do if during your fake isolation period you actually develop symptoms and need to isolate longer than you initially told your bosses?

This will happen to a huge percentage of people though. Small children often have innocuous temperatures and coughs which cause the whole house to isolate. My youngest child has a mild fever ever time a tooth comes through!

ilovesooty Wed 25-Mar-20 15:36:27

Well if you fake sickness I'd also wonder what you would plan to do when your self isolation ends. Given that so many key workers can't pick and choose I don't see why you think it's OK to mess your employers around and put strain on the rest of the workforce.

Racmactac Wed 25-Mar-20 15:37:53

Bicycle businesses are classed as essential by the government

Crackerofdoom Wed 25-Mar-20 15:38:18

How is a bicycle business essential?

Because Boris loves a bike?

Seems daft but they were on the list

LuaDipa Wed 25-Mar-20 15:38:51

We both work for small independent businesses with no cash flow issues, who realistically could shut up shop for a couple of months and get through fairly unscathed.

Yes, those small independents tend to have huge reserves of cash to fall back on during trying times.hmm

MumW Wed 25-Mar-20 15:41:18

How is a bicycle business essential?
The only reasons i can come with are to keep people exercising whilst maintaining social distancing and to encourage people who use public transport to cycle to work.

AnotherMurkyDay Wed 25-Mar-20 15:46:12

*Why is a bicycle business essential?
So that people can still get to work. Public transport is not running as normal and best avoided.

Badoukas Wed 25-Mar-20 15:48:11

If you can keep 2m apart from your colleagues, that is a safe situation to work in. I was crammed in with others on a factory production line and the bosses didnt give a toss. Just as I was about to throw a fit and refuse to work under those conditions, I came down with symptoms anyway.

TorysSuckRevokeArticle50 Wed 25-Mar-20 15:48:10

I think it's highly unlikely that both business have enough cash in reserve to pay employees, pay rent, rates etc for 3 months which is the current guesstimate based on people being told to isolate for 12 weeks.

Bike shops are allowed to stay open because bikes are a form of transport used by many people including doctors, nurses and teachers to get to work.

You're only real option if you want to off for the duration is to go on unpaid leave if your employer would allow that.

Whalette Wed 25-Mar-20 15:49:48

So you plan to commit fraud?

Obviously, no I don't think that is a good idea.

twinkletwinkle00 Wed 25-Mar-20 15:52:23

@LuaDipa without going into detail we both know there are no issues related to cash flow.

I don't see how a cycle shop is essential either, although yes I suppose for a small amount of people using them to commute/for keeping fit they may be important.

With regards to comparing us to other frontline workers, why would we put ourselves at risk if it's not ESSENTIAL?! I value the health of myself and my family and don't think it's right we need to risk that so the businesses still make lots of money. Who would feel happy about that? It doesn't mean I don't value the frontline workers.

twinkletwinkle00 Wed 25-Mar-20 15:52:59

Also, unfortunately most of our work isn't doable from home.

twinkletwinkle00 Wed 25-Mar-20 15:54:10

@Badoukas unfortunately not really possible to stay 2m apart. We also do not have hand sanitizer readily available or anything else that might afford us some protection.

HavelockVetinari Wed 25-Mar-20 15:54:23

You really believe the businesses can afford to pay rent, insurance, salaries, pensions etc. for 3-4 months? I very much doubt they have such a huge reserve of cash!

Quickquestion2020 Wed 25-Mar-20 15:55:09

I run a small independent business with no cashflow issues. I would have a BIG cashflow issue if I shut up shop though! If someone I employed pulled a sickie they would be (and have been) out of work.

Does anyone in your family have underlying health conditions? Are you required to care for anyone with underlying health conditions? Are you actually struggling to care for your child? If no, then you should continue working. If we all decided we didn't want to work then our country will collapse.

twinkletwinkle00 Wed 25-Mar-20 15:55:18

We couldn't afford to take unpaid leave.

I'd like anyone reading this post to put themselves in our shoes and ask yourself honestly what you'd do.

Walkacrossthesand Wed 25-Mar-20 15:55:26

Besides, the govt bill (which we will all pay back eventually, in taxes) for the enhanced SSP is going to be huge as it is, without the worried well adding to it by self-isolating when they don't need to. You are in a business which is doing its bit to help, you can (presumably) social distance at work, so this is you doing your bit. Thank you.

IceKitten Wed 25-Mar-20 15:56:16

No, I don't think you should do this.

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