Self isolating and pay

(28 Posts)
Babyrhinosarecute Tue 31-Mar-20 14:13:43


Does anyone know what the protocol is for paying wages if you decide to self isolate because a member of your immediate family is in the vulnerable group.
I have been offered furlough from May, but my employer says if I want to have April off, then I would be unpaid.
They haven’t provided any PPE, apart from gloves, I am customer facing, no 2 metre distancing enforced- apart from me telling them. No hand gel, desk sharing, when I’m away from desk etc.
I am happy to take April unpaid , but concerned they will say I can’t be furloughed for May and then sack me!

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Babyrhinosarecute Tue 31-Mar-20 21:26:21


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Escapeistheonlyoption Tue 31-Mar-20 21:33:32

So you are refusing to work? Or have they furloughed staff?

reelteeth901 Tue 31-Mar-20 21:42:19

Watching with interest as in similar situation!

Babyrhinosarecute Tue 31-Mar-20 21:57:29

They are furloughing from May, but as my family member is in the vulnerable group and they aren’t providing any protection I don’t feel safe going to work . I have asked for PPE, but they say they can’t get it . No hand gel even and I handle money. Just wanted to know if I ask for unpaid leave in April, can they rescind the offer of furlough for May?

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ilovemyrednosedaymug Tue 31-Mar-20 21:59:29

Look up Martin Lewis, there’s a good post on his Facebook page tonight

Ask your employer to pay you 80% and furlough you

Babyrhinosarecute Tue 31-Mar-20 22:05:33

I did ask to be furloughed for April, they said it would be treated as the 12 weeks self isolation and I wouldn’t be paid , from that I assumed my furloughing for May would be cancelled

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Insideimsprinting Wed 01-Apr-20 10:00:32

I sought legal advice on this, they Said that those with underlying health conditions can be furlough, it's for I'd business needs to close and staff can't work or if they would have needed to lay some one off. If the later they can share the lay off roll around all staff 3 weeks each at least. If your looking after dependants it can work to.
They said it doesn't work for staff who just don't want to work and want to self isolate they would be on unpaid leave. The staff have to find themselves told to not work by Dr's or business closing, laying off or staff using dependants leave.
It's not a free for all.

flowery Wed 01-Apr-20 10:03:23

If they’ve offered you furlough from May and you’re happy to take April unpaid what’s the problem?

If you’re choosing to self isolate you are not entitled to any pay, and despite what Martin Lewis says, it’s not a furlough situation as your work is still there.

Insideimsprinting Wed 01-Apr-20 10:04:09

They also said that if workplace is making reasonable adjustments regarding government recommendations and working from home isn't possible then you still need to go unless the above applies.

Babyrhinosarecute Wed 01-Apr-20 10:18:17

Sorry, just come back.

I’m happy not to be paid for April, but concerned they will cancel May furlough. As for guidelines, they have given me gloves, no gel, I can’t wash my hands very often, as always customers to see to. No 2 metre distancing as I have to take money and paperwork etc off customers. That’s my real issue!,
I don’t feel it’s fair to have to put my families health at risk. By the way, this wasn’t my role before, the person who did it has decided they no longer want the risk!

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flowery Wed 01-Apr-20 10:26:21

Well they have to make your workplace safe, so if they’re not doing that you should make a fuss.

Furlough happens if your work is not there. But it is funded so there’s no reason to think they won’t do it. But you’ll just have to ask them.

Insideimsprinting Wed 01-Apr-20 10:28:15

Op I'm customer facing and deal with cash etc and card payments. Can you put a desk or counter between you and customer. We have counter, we pick up money off counter and place change on couter for them to pick up we are always 2 meters apart. I don't touch my face and wash hands as often as possible. Nothing will be perfect but basic hygiene, following government guidelines and trying the above for distance would be reasonable adjustments.

Babyrhinosarecute Wed 01-Apr-20 10:31:03

I’ve tried, sent emails suggesting ideas, all they have come back to me is - if you’re not comfortable, you can go on unpaid leave, I’m happy to do this for April, but obviously if others are off May, why should I not get furlough. As I said this wasn’t my role before

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Babyrhinosarecute Wed 01-Apr-20 10:32:45

My family member has been told to self isolate for 3 months, just seems pointless them doing that when I’m forced to work without the social distancing

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lonelylou09 Wed 01-Apr-20 10:37:50

Op.. I am having to work still at the moment and have been provided gloves but we don't have enough to make it safe to wear the gloves ie... Changing between customers. Also not always the option to wash hands between as we are too busy. What I have taken to doing is using antibacterial spray on the gloves after every customer. That way I can just go through a couple of pairs per shift but still feel like I'm keeping myself and others safe. You could take some anti bac spray and some tissue to dry the gloves with after spraying

MrsPinkCock Wed 01-Apr-20 11:33:19

Flowery is right and Martin Lewis is wrong. He isn’t an employment lawyer and is off the mark on this occasion.

If you are self isolating in line with government guidelines (ie because you or your family member is symptomatic) you’re entitled to SSP.

If there is no work to do, your employer can furlough you at 80% pay.

If you are choosing not to go to work to protect a family member that isn’t ill, but is vulnerable, you aren’t entitled to be paid.

They could sack you if you’re refusing to attend work but most employers wouldn’t be that harsh (and wouldn’t want to risk an unfair dismissal claim on H&S grounds).

Babyrhinosarecute Wed 01-Apr-20 11:51:29

Thank you for the information, no choice then, just hope I don’t get infected in the next month then.😳. HR have all been sent home, and can only be contacted via email. Hi Ho, it’s off to work I go🥺. Thanks all

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WeBuiltCisCityOnSexistRoles Wed 01-Apr-20 12:26:05

Flowery is always right smile

I do think there could have been more flexibility/options for those living with extremely vulnerable family members. I believe the likelihood of infecting family members within the house is high, even with trying to self isolate (which is much harder work than you realise until you have to do it. Especially for weeks on end). It seems odd that vulnerable people are told not to go out when someone could be coming home and still infecting them. Which also means the worker has to self isolate anyway!

It does seem an unfair risk especially when other staff members in other departments are furloughed. It leads to a "them and us" mentality (which is what the government want, their usual tactic of divide and conquer).

WeBuiltCisCityOnSexistRoles Wed 01-Apr-20 12:33:14

Also, the government are good at shifting the focus of blame onto employers (especially with woolly guidelines).

I have heard from many people that their workplaces aren't social distancing or providing PPE. I believe ASOS and JD Sports were in the news for this. There is a lack of clarity and elasticity over what is an essential business and who is a keyworker - the guidelines are vague eg distribution.

So people are put at risk, employers refuse to ensure safety and the government just bat it back to fight amongst themselves. I think I heard Gove say the unions should get involved yesterday, which was painful in its irony.

Clear guidelines, enforced and with penalties, this would at least reduce the risk of infecting vulnerable people.

flowery Wed 01-Apr-20 13:09:45

”Flowery is right and Martin Lewis is wrong. He isn’t an employment lawyer and is off the mark on this occasion.”

The amount of extra work and hassle Martin Lewis is causing my consultants and all HR people at the moment is beyond belief. Hoards of people not eligible for furlough are hassling HR people up and down the country demanding to be furloughed because Martin Lewis said so. FGS.

notonmywatch28 Fri 03-Apr-20 20:47:09

Flowery , glad I'm not the only one who is despairing at Martin Lewis's interpretation of furloughing. I've got employees who should be shielding or socially isolating on SSP, but are claiming this isn't enough to live on ( not wrong there unfortunately), and please can they take the 80% pay deal. Our business ( food retail) is still trading, so it's not an option I can offer them (Acas agree), but it doesn't stop the 'I shouldn't be at work ' comments hmm

ScouseMar Fri 03-Apr-20 21:00:02

Another HR person here with 100% more work to do and very disappointed staff because of Martin Lewis' 'advice' about furlough.

Spent the afternoon responding to ex- employees who resigned to take up new roles some time ago asking to be returned to our company's payroll because Martin Lewis says they can be re-engaged and furloughed

ilovemyrednosedaymug Sun 05-Apr-20 19:09:21

notonmywatch2 Government guidance is frequently being updated due to Martin Lewis asking them to clarify because people don't want to believe him.

You can indeed furlough your employees who are shielding or self isolating. You do not need to be closed down, you can carry on trading and furlough some employees not all.

Taken from the above link -

If your employee is self-isolating or on sick leave
If you’re employee is on sick leave or self-isolating, they’ll be able to get Statutory Sick Pay.

You cannot claim for employees while they’re getting Statutory Sick Pay, but they can be furloughed and claimed for once they are no longer receiving Statutory Sick Pay.

Shielding Employees
You can claim for furloughed employees who are shielding in line with public health guidance (or need to stay home with someone who is shielding) if they are unable to work from home and you would otherwise have to make them redundant.

Employees with caring responsibilities
Employees who are unable to work because they have caring responsibilities resulting from coronavirus (COVID-19) can be furloughed. For example, employees that need to look after children can be furloughed.

ilovemyrednosedaymug Sun 05-Apr-20 19:13:59

** sorry, missed a bit out there, you can't furlough self isolating - ignore that bit

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