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AIBU to be scared DH has been told he has to go back to work on Monday when we have a medically vulnerable child?

(59 Posts)
1800swoman Sun 03-May-20 07:37:52

My DH has been told he has to return to work tomorrow before the end of lockdown and our 11 year old Autistic son also has medical issues that in our view put him at great risk from the Corona virus, however like so many people with severe and chronic medical conditions he has not been included on the list.

Our son can and has on many occasions suffered anaphalactic shock as a reaction to viral infections this includes, breathing difficulties due to constriction of his airways with wheeze, extremely high high temperatures, lip swelling and tongue swelling and collapse. Reactions commonly last for 2 weeks or more and on 7 occasions after collapse we have had to call paramedics and be rushed to hospital during bouts of flu which he gets every year inspite of having a flu jab. This is not an exaggeration to say a severe reaction could kill him. My DH believes that if he says to his boss he cannot go back to work he will be dismissed and that having a conversation with his boss about remaining furloughed is not even a possibility. To me it is clear that our son's safety comes before all other considerations. DH sees this but is unable to make the call.

OP’s posts: |
Hotcuppatea Sun 03-May-20 07:40:25

Your husbands work can not furlough him indefinitely. It's unreasonable.

Have you asked your doctor for advice about your son and C19? If so, what do they say about him not being shielded?

Baskininthegarden Sun 03-May-20 07:40:51

Hi, your Doctor can give a note to give to your employer stating your son needs to be shielded if this is the case, just had to do this for my MIL as she had a condition that made her vulnerable but wasnt noted on the official list.

Hotcuppatea Sun 03-May-20 07:46:55

I don't think your son being on the shielded list entitles your DH to being furloughed though. I know several people who are shielding whose spouses are going out to work.

Wifeofbikerviking Sun 03-May-20 07:48:06

Furlough doesnt work this way.
He can speak to work to see about sick pay or unpaid leave, or using his annual leave. And apply for universal credit. I know it's probably not what you want to hear.

Alternatively can he move into temporary accommodation. Holiday home owners here are offering the empty homes to key workers or workers who need to protect family members. Most are just charging minimal amount to cover utilities used ?or you and your son to a family members who are also staying home for this whole time?

This must be such a hard situation 💐

arethereanyleftatall Sun 03-May-20 07:51:05

I agree I wouldn't want to risk him coming in to contact with your ds. But realistically people can't just be paid to work whilst not working.
So, your options are;
1. Temporary accommodation for your dh
2. Annual leave
3. Speak to the doctor, then speak to his work

OpticVA Sun 03-May-20 07:51:33

His employer can’t keep him furloughed if he is needed back at work. Is is a bit unreasonable of him not to even speak to his boss to explain the situation though, his boss may offer unpaid leave or another alternative? If he does have to go back then your DH will need to isolate from you and your son if you’re concerned the risk is that high. You need to contact your GP and get him on the shielding list aswell!!

Bluntness100 Sun 03-May-20 07:52:20

Your husband has to take responsibility, wear ppe and socially distance, and reduce or eliminate his risk.

Figgygal Sun 03-May-20 07:54:49

Him not returning to work isn’t a solution unfortunately

SpudsAreLife84 Sun 03-May-20 07:55:33

Many of my colleagues have a child or spouse who is shielding but that doesnt mean they get time off unfortunately. The shielding person is living separately to them or if this isn't possible they are socially distancing in the home, cleaning the bathroom after every use, sleeping in different rooms etc to mitigate the risk. If your DH is stringent about hand washing and changes his clothes when he gets home, him going to work is no riskier than him going to the shops.

Peggysgettingcrazy Sun 03-May-20 07:55:51

our HR explained this to us.

Those who are shielding someone will be the last to come back from furlough. Thats how we have decided to implement it. But once we have enough work, those sheilding someone else won't be able to be furloughed because, as a company, we will no longer be entitled to it.

There's nothing that says if someone is shielding in your house you can not/should no go to work.

As a company, we will be opting to pwyimg the few people who are shielding themselves, out of our own pocket. But the company can simply not afford to pay everyone who claims someone is shielding within their household.

So it sounds like your husband will need to go back. The company could opt to keep him on furlough. But if they have the work, they don't qualify for the payment.

However, as a xompany going back to work, they must be only going back because there are appropriate health and safety in place.

We have a huge amount of additional guidelines and working directives to implement, before people go back to work.

Its scary. My mum is shielding and dad works in the NHS. Theres nowehere else he can live. But they manage it and both are OK.

RoosterPie Sun 03-May-20 08:03:05

This is such a horrible situation for you OP flowers

Unfortunately I agree with PP that your DH cannot stay off work indefinitely, it simply isn’t feasible for everyone who lives with a shielding person to be paid to stay off joke for months on end. That puts you in an terrible position, and I hope you work something out flowers

Beautiful3 Sun 03-May-20 08:03:18

I know it's scary but he has to go back to work at some point. This virus is going to be around for a long while until vaccines are ready next year.

Helspopje Sun 03-May-20 08:11:51

Shout this from the rooftops please as no one seems to understand it -

‘There's nothing that says if someone is shielding in your house you can not/should no go to work. ’

patients whose relis are shielding are refusing to come to hospital for necessary treatments and everyone is asking for a letter for their parents/relis to be off work on full pay. School has no teachers as everyone seems to have a shielded family member.

Also from the list described above, there are no shielding category illnesses listed. The lists of qualifying conditions are very specific and in three categories with shielding highest

I do understand that you’re stressed but shielding is a very specific thing.

FWIW I’ve been it itu with sepsis and other things 3 times in the last 3 years and am immuno modulated but don’t even qualify for the lowest level of distancing so am still front line working in hot areas of the hospital

sashh Sun 03-May-20 08:13:15

Sorry OP there is not a lot that can be done. Have you looked at alternatice accomodation for your dh?

BriefDisaster Sun 03-May-20 08:20:17

There are doctors and nurses with vulnerable children who are still working.

I think special leave or annual leave are the only options to remain employed really.

I think there is going to be a lot of issues with people not wanting to go back to work for various reasons going forward. The government are going to have to be quite clear when they start to lift the lockdown that they won't be financing everyone to stay home indefinitley.

Herpesfreesince03 Sun 03-May-20 08:21:00

Op I know you’re scared for your son, but I think you need to be realistic. Even when the lockdown eases, this virus is never going away. Being furloughed isn’t an option if work is available to your oh, and he can’t be furloughed indefinitely. He could choose to give up his job, or find alternative accommodation until a vaccination is found, but that could take months if not years. I think you really need to consider that the best option is probably for him to go back to work but take every precaution possible. Presumably your son will have to leave the house/go back to school at some point in the next couple months anyway, staying inside away from each other for the next year or so isn’t really possible

LaurieMarlow Sun 03-May-20 08:23:53

Have you spoken to your sons doctor OP? It sounds like you’ve decided he’s vulnerable yourselves, but that may not be the case.

Cuppaand2biscuits Sun 03-May-20 08:44:00

Unfortunately there are a few people at my work place in a similar position but with elderly and vulnerable parents. They have had to take unpaid leave or annual leave for the last 6 weeks.
While I can understand you not wanting him to.go back I think you've been lucky if your husband has been getting paid for the last 6 weeks.

Nacreous Sun 03-May-20 08:48:22

It's really stressful but firstly I don't think your son is in the shielding list, and secondly even if he was it doesn't stop other members of the household from working.

ScarredBunny Sun 03-May-20 08:57:34

Hello OP. I understand why you are concerned. I think that with a system in place, you can really minimise the risk of your DS to coming into contact with the virus.This is what I would do:
- Does your house have a utility room or a garage or loo near the entrance door? use this as a 'decontamination station' for your DH to use before he goes anywhere near your DH and you.
- When your husband comes homes after work, this is where he leaves his bag if he has one and any item he has with him, shopping, etc. where he takes his clothes off, washes his hands, neck, face, then, half naked through the house if must be grin he goes and has a shower and also washes his hair carefully.
- He wears into 'homies', clothes inside the house,that he never wears outside or to work.
- Only then can he greet you and your DS
- his phone and any personal item, keys, etc. should be disinfected before they are used or left inside the house.
- Same with shopping, etc. every single item, including food that comes inside the house, they should all be disinfected before they are put away.
- Your husband should organise a set of work clothes. These he will not wear inside your home of near your son or near anything your son could touch. These clothes should be stored in the garage/utility room or a cupboard/wardrobe as far away from your DS has you can manage.
- Your DH's laundry can be isolated and done separately from you and your DS's from now on if you wish.
It's a lot of faff and require a lot of thinking actually, at first. Whenever mistakes happen when you first do this, you/your DH rectify it straight away and disinfect every contaminated item. It can be maddening but soon becomes a habit and a lot easier than it sounds.
It's not really worth doing if you don't do it well, iyswim.
If you can manage all this, the possibility of your DS coming into contact with the virus will be minute.
It's not ideal or easy, but in the short/medium term, since it looks like your DH has little choice but to go back to work, it will be effective and should put your minds at rest.
I hope all goes well for your DS, OP.

user1487194234 Sun 03-May-20 09:21:12

Understand where you are coming from,but unfortunately it looks like he is going to have to go back to work and all you can do is make the best of it
Good advice hear
I would start with trying to get some unpaid leave,but you a bit of time

1800swoman Sun 03-May-20 11:49:04

Thank you for all the comments I think the biggest problem is that I cann't get my husband to talk to his boss to discuss possible alternatives to furloughing, just to see how the land lies. His job is in no way classed as essential. The issue for me is not about the furloughing we would be happy with the other options to buy us a bit more time....

OP’s posts: |
1800swoman Sun 03-May-20 11:51:35

If you haven't explained a situation fully to someone you cann't give them a chance to understand and make an informed decision and work through possible compromises etc. resentment just builds up on all sides

OP’s posts: |
Querlouse Sun 03-May-20 11:55:07

Your dh will have to wash thoroughly when he gets home and take shoes off outside.

The furlough scheme isn't so that employees can ask to stay at home with a vulnerable member of their family.

The employer can choose to furlough those with caring responsibilities even if they have work to do.

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