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Employer still wants me in, not WFH

(31 Posts)
Letsskidaddle Mon 18-Jan-21 14:56:02

So AIBU to say no?
Just after some clarity really. It's a non-essential retail business so is closed. However my boss still wants me to go in with him there also and clean, tidy, sort out/redecorate for when we can open again.

There are things I could WFH on, and have made these suggestions, but these aren't things he wants me to do. He wants me to go in and do the 'getting ready' things.

Cleaning, tidying and sorting/redecorating aren't part of my role normally. I'm more admin focussed.

AIBU to say I'm not doing it? I've said I'm not happy about it (because of the lockdown/mixing with him) and his response was that he'd get someone else who was happy.

I'm self employed, so can't be furloughed and am obviously free to choose what I do (I'd not be in breach of any contract if I refused, I just wouldn't get paid, or probably asked to come back after lockdown!)

But, we're in lockdown aren't we?! First time round he closed totally and didn't employ/pay me. Fortunately the money isn't an issue, it's the principle of abiding by lockdown that is my concern.

OP’s posts: |
bobbojobbo Mon 18-Jan-21 14:57:38

If you're self employed your employer is you, not some guy in a shop. He's not your boss., and you can make your own decisions.

Mousehole10 Mon 18-Jan-21 14:58:52

It’s fine for your boss to ask you to do this, and fine for you to say no as you’re self employed. You won’t get paid though if you say no.

NoWordForFluffy Mon 18-Jan-21 15:00:09

Do you meet the HMRC criteria for self employment, or is your employer trying to pull a fast one?

ChristOnAPeloton Mon 18-Jan-21 15:02:05

YANBU to decline the offer of work.

But YABU to go looking for drama where there isn’t any. Lots of S/E people would grateful that their boss had managed to find other work to do so they could carry on getting paid.

He hasn’t insulted you.

Icanflyhigh Mon 18-Jan-21 15:02:20

Can you clarify the self-employed bit as you say in title employer wants you in? I'm a bit confused.

Lougle Mon 18-Jan-21 15:02:47

How are you self-employed in a shop? It depends what your contract says, really. If you are 'self-employed' but not really, then if there is an 'any reasonable task' clause in your contract, I'd say that covers it. Your employer is asking you to do tasks that can't be done from home, so you can travel to work in both the spirit and letter of the law.

tinkerbellvspredator Mon 18-Jan-21 15:04:26

Maybe suggest going in on your own before he goes in as a compromise?

EveryDayIsADuvetDay Mon 18-Jan-21 15:05:20

self employed?- your choice to accept the work or not.
Business owners choice to engage someone else, not offer you future work.

Daisysflowers Mon 18-Jan-21 15:05:57

How are self employed in a shop?

If you self employed then the shop owner has offered you a job which you have turned down then he can find someone else to do it. He has been good enough to give you first refusal.

FunnyItWorkedLastTime Mon 18-Jan-21 15:07:10

If these are things that really do need doing on site, and you can travel in by car and, crucially, the space is large enough that the risk of sharing it with boss is minimal then I’d say yes. If you can genuinely work safely then it’s probably the best thing to do. But the self-employed thing is confusing.

Moondust001 Mon 18-Jan-21 15:07:37


Do you meet the HMRC criteria for self employment, or is your employer trying to pull a fast one?

In this context, it's irrelevant as refusing to attend work has the same result - probably no job and definitely no pay. And the OP has said they are free to do as they want, so that would suggest that the shop owner has no control over their working hours.

If the OP doesn't want to go to work, then they don't have to. But they aren't entitled to expect any work from home, whether such work is available or not. The law is "clear" (as mud, but still clear) - it is up to the employer to decide whether someone can work from home. If they expect someone in the workplace then the workplace must be Covid-secure, but that is all. So whether it's unreasonable or not is a matter of opinion. And the only person whose opinion matters is the owner of the shop.

CuriousaboutSamphire Mon 18-Jan-21 15:07:58

As others have said, are you actually self employed?

It doesn't sound right.

In my case, I am self employed, I would have written "One of my clients has offered me some cleaning and decorating work over lockdown. It's not what I do WIBU to turn it down?"

Your situations doesn't sound like that at all!

The link above is to the government guidelines for self employment

Calmandmeasured1 Mon 18-Jan-21 15:08:36

It may not be the normal work he contracts you to do but, if you were employed by him, rather than being self-employed, you would probably do it to help get the business ready for re-opening.

If you do not want to do the work he has asked you to then don't. He won't contract you to work for him in future. You don't need the money. I don't see the problem.

Godimabitch Mon 18-Jan-21 15:08:51

You're self employed. You can say no. But he doesn't have to pay you and will just stop giving you work. So you're essentially quitting.
Up to you. I'd want to keep any work I had right now.

It's a perfectly reasonable request on his behalf.

StepOutOfLine Mon 18-Jan-21 15:10:48

So he contracts something out to you and wants you to go in and do whatever that thing is?
Don't do it if you don't want.
But as others say, there's nothing to see here
You're turning down a contract, because right now, you don't want to do it.
No drama.

DynamoKev Mon 18-Jan-21 15:10:52

You aren't self employed.

CuriousaboutSamphire Mon 18-Jan-21 15:11:55

You're self employed. You can say no. But he doesn't have to pay you and will just stop giving you work. So you're essentially quitting. That's not right at all. Which is why it's important OP knows the law.

Yes, she may not get further work, but she doesn't have to say yes to any work a client offers. Knowing her real employment status mught be useful to her.

Responses that mix the self employed/employed terminology don't.

1940s Mon 18-Jan-21 15:12:19

I'm guessing someone like a hairdresser who rents a chair in a salon. Not contractually hired by the 'boss' but works in his salon

Moondust001 Mon 18-Jan-21 15:14:45


You aren't self employed.

The OP says they are. There has been no evidence presented to suggest they aren't. So where do you get this assertion from?

Grobagsforever Mon 18-Jan-21 15:17:07

If you're self employed then what are your other clients asking of you?

LIZS Mon 18-Jan-21 15:17:46

She uses the term employer but is se not an employee. If he dictates where you work and when you are not se.

Bluntness100 Mon 18-Jan-21 15:21:59

Op, you’re allowed to physically go to work in lockdown, I don’t understand how you don’t know that. If the role required can’t ge done at home, and this work can’t, then it is acceptable to go in.

However as you’re self employed you can say no. That’s nothing to do with the pandemic, you can do as you please, if your contract doesn’t dictate you need to do these kind of things.

He is also absolutely in the right to ask. Neither of you are doing something wrong here. But you cannot say you’re not doing it because it’s against pandemic rules. It’s not.

BarbaraofSeville Mon 18-Jan-21 15:23:56

The OP says they are. There has been no evidence presented to suggest they aren't. So where do you get this assertion from

The evidence that suggests the OP is not self employed is that she is talking about a 'boss' that is telling her what work to do and how to do it. Self employed people don't have bosses and decide for themselves what work they do.

However, it's a well known ruse to tell employees that they are 'self employed' because this frees the 'boss' from pesky things like employment rights or employer's national insurance. It's rife in construction, supply teaching and other sectors but up to now, I haven't heard about it in retail.

cherrypie111 Mon 18-Jan-21 15:24:38

Yanbu to say no

But expect to be out of a job

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