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To think that my works idea of flexible furlough is bs?

(63 Posts)
Pieface123 Thu 25-Jun-20 15:39:46

Now I'm not too sure what other work places are doing with bringing people back to work, but heres how it's looking from my end.
Work in a hotel, have been furloughed since March.
Recieved an email today asking us to agree to flexible furlough. Straight after I had a conversation with the boss about how I would need time to organise childcare, he replied saying they weren't looking at bringing anyone back just yet.

"Following the UK Government’s recent announcement in relation to employees and the introduction of flexible furlough, we are writing further to your original agreement to be placed on furlough from 1st July 2020.

The new extension of furlough is called a Flexible Furlough Arrangement and will take effect from 1st July 2020. This new arrangement requires you to work any number but not more of your usual working hours per week on any day of the week needed, with the remaining number of hours continuing as furlough leave. The date on which this flexible furlough will come to an end will be dependent on a number of external factors, however, will not continue past 31st October 2020.
"

Forgive me if I am wrong, but how on earth can I arrange childcare when they dont complete the rotas for the week Friday-Thursday until thursday evenings? This is essentially turning my job into a zero hour contract style of working no?
Previously I had 3 set shifts each week and was asked about others due to needing childcare.

AIBU to think they cant do this? This isn't the rota i agreed to when I signed the contract- verbal agreement but it has never been deviated from.
Or YABU everyone has had a shit time and it is what it is

OP’s posts: |
AnnaBanana333 Thu 25-Jun-20 15:45:37

This is essentially turning my job into a zero hour contract style of working no?

Well, the major difference is that you will still be paid regardless of whether you do your full hours, right? It might be only 80% but it's better than nothing.

I have no idea if this is legal and nor do most people in AIBU. There are knowledgeable people who hang out in the Employment/Work boards.

preferteatocoffee Thu 25-Jun-20 15:46:15

Sounds reasonable to me im afraid. I'm unsure why you think you couldn't stick to your original 3 shift time slots IF they require you to work. Did they say they wouldn't? What did you do for childcare pre Covid and can you avail of that again or not?

ImFreeToDoWhatIWant Thu 25-Jun-20 15:47:44

I don't think that short statement has anything to do with the hours you may actually be working, it's more saying what the legal process is. What you do need though is urgent clarification on what they actually want you to work.

Purpleartichoke Thu 25-Jun-20 15:49:53

Will they agree to a set schedule of potential work? So your regular shifts that you may or may not work? Since you are still getting paid for time not worked, you could still pay your child care even if you don’t use it.

vanillandhoney Thu 25-Jun-20 15:50:07

This is essentially turning my job into a zero hour contract style of working no?

Well, no, it's not, because you're still getting paid 80% of the hours you don't work for whatever reason. Can you not speak to your boss re. what you'll need from him with regards to childcare?

CupofHorlicks Thu 25-Jun-20 15:52:09

Yabu, it isnt zero hours contract as you are being paid for your contracted hours

Littlegoth Thu 25-Jun-20 15:58:02

That’s how flexible furlough will work so sounds right to me. Your employer is responsible for paying you in full for any hours worked. The furloughed hours will be at 80% salary covered by the furlough scheme (if your employer isn’t topping up to 100%).

Your employer can choose to keep you fully furloughed - as you are going to have childcare issues you might consider requesting this.

KylieKoKo Thu 25-Jun-20 15:59:39

Whether or not it's legal it's not workable for people who have children. Would they agree 48 hours notice for a shift so you have time to arrange childcare?

dontdisturbmenow Thu 25-Jun-20 16:02:00

You will be expected to arrange childcare as you would have had to before. The difference is that it might be that you might not need it at times.

Are your kids school age? Who would normally look after them? Did you pay for childcare before?

MrsWooster Thu 25-Jun-20 16:06:16

While it’s technically not zero hours contract, it’s virtually impossible for you to Work. Can you ont t them saying you’ll put dc in nursery on old shift rota And you’re happy to work any /all of these hours if required but can’t work outside those times?

BlingLoving Thu 25-Jun-20 16:07:46

This reads to me as the first step in the process they're undergoing ie that they're wanting you to com back to work part time and will be using the flexible furlough scheme to allow you to still receive 80% of your pay for the days you would normally work but won't be.

So if you usually work 5 days a week and are furloughed currently but then change to working 2 days a week you'll receive full pay for 2 days and up to 80% pay for the other three days (up to the existing cap).

i WOULD expect a letter like this to include a paragraph that explains how they plan to manage this. Something that says if you wish to remain furloughed on this basis please let them know by x date and shifts etc will then be calculated and you'll b e informed.

There is nothing intrinsically in this letter that specifically says they can call you up any time. Certainly, it's worth asking the question about how they plan to make it work, but I wouldn't be assuming it's an ad hoc arrangement without them specifically telling you that. Far more likely that once they know who is in, they'll work out a schedule. There are, for example, lots of talk of using job-share type arrangements to get people back to work/businesses back open.

TheOrigBrave Thu 25-Jun-20 16:13:40

You are wrong and I forgive you (as in your OP!).

I think you are confusing 'flexible furlough' with 'flexible/short notice hours'.

No where does it say what your actual hours will be.

TheOrigBrave Thu 25-Jun-20 16:15:39

...and yes, there is an element of it being shit for many people.
I need some childcare for my child over the summer (upper end of Primary school). I have no clue what I'm going to do. I can wfh when he's hear but it's not nice for either of us and will be a long 6 weeks.

Jenasaurus Thu 25-Jun-20 16:16:49

Does this mean the employer will pay for the days the Op works and the furlough scheme will pay the remaining 80% I am confused who pays if you are furloughed but still work.

Bloops Thu 25-Jun-20 16:18:43

Many work places near me are doing this, too

Backbackandforth Thu 25-Jun-20 16:20:34

What is your contractual hours/days? You say you’ve signed a contract and that it’s a verbal agreement in the same sentence.

It sounds like they’ve copy and pasted how the scheme works for the benefit of everyone, not telling you you’ll have to work any day they say. These won’t be personalised emails.

Can you not have a chat with your boss and confirm you’ll be back only on your usual 3 days?

Littlegoth Thu 25-Jun-20 16:58:15

@Jenasaurus yes that’s right

Littlegoth Thu 25-Jun-20 16:59:51

Employer pays in full at their own cost for days worked, the rest of the time will be covered by the furlough scheme at 80% (up to salary limit).

Pieface123 Thu 25-Jun-20 17:34:17

@purpleartichoke
Since you are still getting paid for time not worked, you could still pay your child care even if you don’t use it.

Sadly no, because my childminder cant accept 80% pay and my wage barely covered the childcare costs. We lost the childminder a month ago unfortunately

OP’s posts: |
Pieface123 Thu 25-Jun-20 17:37:07

@Backbackandforth
Contracted to 24 hours on the verbal agreement that it would be those certain days due to needing to arrange solid childcare

OP’s posts: |
PumbaasCucumbas Thu 25-Jun-20 17:44:41

Didn’t Boris keep saying that childcare was a valid reason for a member of staff not to be able to work?

I’ve had to swap my late finishes on weekdays for Saturdays and top up hours with annual leave since I came back from furlough. No wrap around care available for our school age kids even though DH is a keyworker and no flexible furlough for me because I came back before the cut off date in June.

Most employers should take what you can offer and should understand that even well organised childcare can’t be changed at the drop of a hat. You might have to be prepared to be flexible and do antisocial shifts to make it work though.

NailsNeedDoing Thu 25-Jun-20 18:04:16

Have they told you that you’ll have to work different hours to before?

Maybe they are aware that you’ll still need the same hours and we’re only planning to give you those anyway? You need to ask them, it doesn’t sound like they’ve done anything to cause you a problem so far.

Maybe you need to work out when you can get childcare for and offer to work those times, hotels can be flexible sometimes.

If you can’t afford childcare then that’s a different problem, but you do need to have some in place in the people you are paid by need you to work.

CheshireChav Thu 25-Jun-20 21:28:09

What plans have you got in place for childcare if you are asked to go back to your contracted hours (ie) next week?

You are still employed and I suppose you are still obliged to turn up and work for your contracted days

FlameFartingDragon Thu 25-Jun-20 21:42:30

You need to arrange childcare regardless. The notice period for ending furlough and for return to work is two days so they could have you return at anytime realistically.

Sort out childcare, return to work. We can't all be sitting on our arses on 80% pay forever (I am saying this as someone who is furloughed, although I am returning next week under the flexible furlough scheme).

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