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AIBU colleague should quit job now that she's moved to another country?

(229 Posts)
Waferbiscuit Sun 25-Oct-20 12:53:44

In February colleague told our office that she was moving to Spain in the summer and would be resigning in the late Spring in time for the move. She wasn't happy in her role (which was more than a bit evident) and wanted a change - she was moving back home and would look for something there. She told everyone as wanted to be transparent about what was going on her life and didn't want her resignation to be a surprise.

Then Covid happened, colleague was furloughed from March and even though she DID physically move back to Spain she did not resign. She remained on furlough until this month. She's now back working remotely while living in another country.

She's now saying she won't resign and is lobbying to work remotely on a permanent basis. The rest of us will have to return to the office when we are expected to return; obviously she can't because, well, she lives across an ocean. If she gets to work from home permanently and we don't, because we actually live near to where we work, that feels deeply unfair.

Surely she's having a laugh? I know you can't force someone to resign, but surely carrying on like this isn't possible? HR don't know how to deal with these new situations so I get the impression they are treading lightly, which is not helpful.

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IncludeWomenInTheSequel Sun 25-Oct-20 12:55:23

If she can get her work done just the same from a different location, what's the issue? She might open the door for others to work remotely too.

I honestly think the olds days of presenteeism need to be over, since it's now been proven that people can be trusted to self-manage from a location of their own choosing.

rawlikesushi Sun 25-Oct-20 12:57:34

If she is granted indefinite permission to work remotely then surely that sets a precedent for everyone else to do so, which could work in your favour.

CovidClara Sun 25-Oct-20 12:58:20

There may be both personal and corporate taxation issues.

StartingGridGo Sun 25-Oct-20 12:58:21

How does this actually affect you? confused

If anything it will benefit you and your colleagues if you all decide you'd like to work from home on a permanent basis too.

CovidClara Sun 25-Oct-20 12:59:25

were people not based in the uk eligible for furlough?

Waferbiscuit Sun 25-Oct-20 12:59:57

I should add that a portion of the colleague's tasks had some physical component whether it was sorting materials or managing distribution. These tasks would have to be removed from her role and given to someone else so she can work remotely. That means someone else will be obliged to 'come in' to the office so she doesn't have to.

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SchrodingersImmigrant Sun 25-Oct-20 13:02:35

Spain isn't over the ocean😁 I agree with PP, it may open door for all of you to have more leniency in this.

Does it affect your workload? You personally? Or your team? If not, than there is no reason (bar envy) to want her to leave

Unicornflakegirl Sun 25-Oct-20 13:02:58

Some friends have a holiday home in Spain that they usually rent out in peak summer months, this year that was too precarious so they stayed there themselves abd worked from home. One is self-employed but the employed one told her boss who said it was okay temporarily but would be complicated for legal and tax reasons if she actually permanently moved out there.

I do think YABU, if she hadn't resigned before being put on furlough not many people would then hand in their notice.

NeverTwerkNaked Sun 25-Oct-20 13:03:10

15 years ago I had colleagues that worked remotely from abroad. If she was able to do it during Covid then I don't see why she can't continue.

islockdownoveryet Sun 25-Oct-20 13:03:58

I actually think yanbu she lives in another country , isn't that against the rules for furloughed?
Also it could set a up for companies say employ someone in another country on a let less pay than someone in this country as they can work from home .
A lot of call centres are abroad now that were once people living in the UK's job .
I don't know the rules for employing people and then not living in the country but if this is allowed then I'd be worried .

Moondust001 Sun 25-Oct-20 13:04:57

This is between her and the employer. What she is proposing is not uncommon. And none of your business. I'm pretty sure that HR can manage it perfectly well, and without your opinion.

Di11y Sun 25-Oct-20 13:05:47

Our work tried to keep a colleague employed once he moved to France. But they couldn't make it work, not sure why - tax?

burnoutbabe Sun 25-Oct-20 13:05:48

its a whole lot more hassle for HR and tax is the person is working overseas and not here. And hassle for her if PAYE and has to do a tax return over in Spain. We moved those sort of people into being contractors, not on payroll if not in UK anymore. (and then you are more easy to let go)

IncludeWomenInTheSequel Sun 25-Oct-20 13:06:11

Waferbiscuit

I should add that a portion of the colleague's tasks had some physical component whether it was sorting materials or managing distribution. These tasks would have to be removed from her role and given to someone else so she can work remotely. That means someone else will be obliged to 'come in' to the office so she doesn't have to.


I suppose it depends then if HR are ok with a slight change in roles, to reflect that someone is doing something she isn't, and perhaps she can pick up some more of the work that's possible remotely.

It is possible to do it, entire companies are remote, but it can't work if it destroys relationships between others.

LakieLady Sun 25-Oct-20 13:06:23

If her job can be done from home, it doesn't matter where in the world she is.

I think now that employers are realising that employees can work just as well remotely, and that there are cost savings in them doing so, I can see a lot more people doing this.

grapewine Sun 25-Oct-20 13:07:22

I've worked for a UK based company while living in a Scandinavian country. If her employer agrees, then good for her. I don't see the issue either.

SchrodingersImmigrant Sun 25-Oct-20 13:09:09

Ah
I see. That depends on how much work is being moved to others.

If the employer is ok with it, there is really not much you can do

Hoppinggreen Sun 25-Oct-20 13:09:20

I imagine long term there will be issues if she is based permanently in Spain around tax and residency, also as we leave The EU transition period there may be further issues
I can’t imagine your employer will want to create a lot more work for themselves for 1 employee ( unless there’s a very very good reason)

lyralalala Sun 25-Oct-20 13:09:52

Tbh it's not actually anything to do with you. She could have been requesting to do permanent WFH locally just as easily.

If the job can be done from home and the employer allows it then so be it. The rest of you can request the same.

It's unlikely once they look into it that they'll go for it, unless they already have staff based abroad, as it's complicated tax wise.

Kat92 Sun 25-Oct-20 13:11:03

I don't really understand why it has anything to do with you? It's completely between her and the company to see if it is possible.

cologne4711 Sun 25-Oct-20 13:12:15

IncludeWomenInTheSequel

If she can get her work done just the same from a different location, what's the issue? She might open the door for others to work remotely too.

I honestly think the olds days of presenteeism need to be over, since it's now been proven that people can be trusted to self-manage from a location of their own choosing.

This.

WorraLiberty Sun 25-Oct-20 13:14:31

It sounds fantastic.

Imagine how lucky you'd feel if you were in her shoes OP?

I don't understand people who whine about things being unfair, when they're not in the same position.

Waferbiscuit Sun 25-Oct-20 13:15:18

It does have to do with me as it's very unlikely staff who are residing locally will be able to WFH on a permanent/FT basis. But if you live overseas you can make a stronger case to WFH, so there is an issue of

Secondly, the shittier bits of this colleague's work will be redistributed to colleagues, possibly me, who will have to be forced to go in a minimum of a few days/week to do this office-based work that can't be done at home. That's not fair either. But it's what will happen.

So many people on MN say 'what does it have to do with you' but we are all part of a bigger picture and don't live/work in a bubble.

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Waferbiscuit Sun 25-Oct-20 13:15:44

Sorry I meant to write 'there is an issue of parity...'

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