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Another Furlough Dilemma wwyd?

(73 Posts)
Iwantmychairback Tue 07-Apr-20 11:42:11

I am a company accountant, been there for 18 years. Work a three day week usually. Fairly happy with the job, not really looking to move on.
I have two assistants. One does purchase ledger tasks, the other ‘B’ does credit control and wages.
One director. The director and ‘B’ have known each other 20 odd years, they are both married to other people, but are friends outside work.
When our company closed 2 weeks ago the director furloughed me, but kept ‘B’ on to do HR stuff and wages. She is being paid full pay but only working 3 days.
The director has emailed me a couple of times asking about work related stuff. No problem happy to help where I can. Today, he asked me to set up a payment, again, no problem, it will take me ten minutes.
However, he is also asking about the VAT return which has to be done by the end of this month. ‘B’ has never, ever done it and wouldn’t know where to start. There is perhaps, 5 days work for someone in order to get an accurate return submitted. It’s not something I can do from home, as I need access to the physical paperwork, not something I can teach anyone to do over the phone.
I’ve not yet replied to his email as I don’t know how to reply if he now asks me to go in to do it. On one hand, I want to keep the company going, and this will help, on the other I am so, so, so annoyed that he put friendship over practicality at a time like this. I can easily do 100% of ‘B’s job, she can do 20% of mine....
Wwyd if he asked you to come in in this situation?

OP’s posts: |
HasaDigaEebowai Tue 07-Apr-20 11:44:21

You have no choice. Your employer can un-furlough you whenever they choose.

Gizlotsmum Tue 07-Apr-20 11:46:44

I would explain exactly what you have put here. An accurate return would require 5 days work. It would require you being in the office. You cannot give enough explanation over the phone.. Then leave him to decide...

Staywithmemyblood Tue 07-Apr-20 12:13:50

Once you've been furloughed for 3 weeks he can 're-employee' you. This way you can do the VAT return before the deadline without the company breaking the rules. He could furlough you again at a later date if need be, but maybe he would furlogh B instead?

Or he can do the VAT return himself as company directors can carry out statutory duties whether furloughed or not.

HasaDigaEebowai Tue 07-Apr-20 12:23:46

Or he can unfurlough you even if you haven't been furloughed for 3 weeks yet - but then he won't be able to claim the grant for that period of furlough.

Iwantmychairback Thu 09-Apr-20 07:51:24

Got the phone call yesterday when he asked me to come in next week. I asked if that meant I was coming off furlough. No, he said, but ‘I will sort something out’
I told him I wasn’t prepared to come in unless I had an email to confirm that I was no longer furloughed. I also said that if he expected me to ‘teach’ someone else by phone then I would consider that working from home and would want full pay and un furloughed.
Relationships may just be a little strained when I finally go back.....

OP’s posts: |
PleasantVille Thu 09-Apr-20 17:46:40

You need to keep stressing the point that legally you can't work on furlough, could you send a link to the law?

You need to be un-furloughed

Levithecat Thu 09-Apr-20 20:06:51

He’s putting you in a horrid position. You’re right to stick to your guns. Little bits and bobs are fine (if you’re 100% willing) but not full days work!

BuffaloCauliflower Thu 09-Apr-20 20:16:22

You can’t do any work when you’re furloughed, at all, he’s breaking the rules. We’ve furloughed staff and we’re shutting down their access to emails and company files and we’re not even allowed to call them about anything work related. You’re either furloughed or you’re not and you’re right to question it. Say if he needs you he needs to unfurlough you, or not contact you until it’s to unfurlough you.

FAQs Thu 09-Apr-20 20:25:31

Can the VAT return be deferred?

Blankiefan Thu 09-Apr-20 21:29:06

Can you position your pushback as youbpeotecting the business. HMRC will undoubtedly audit businesses who claim to make sure people aren't working. I'd they're, the grant won't be paid or will be pulled back.

I'm being furloughed from Monday and we've been heavily warned not to even think about working!

AmelieTaylor Thu 09-Apr-20 21:34:34

God the temptation to tell him that he made his bed when deciding who to furlough!

Are they shagging?

Oblomov20 Thu 09-Apr-20 21:41:41

Accounts is a very wierd thing. Furlough? But who is going to do the management accounts, bank payments, payroll, VAT.

Very odd times!

Oblomov20 Thu 09-Apr-20 21:43:24

If everyone is furloughed who is going to go onto the Corona portal when it comes out on the 20th? wink

Techway Thu 09-Apr-20 21:48:08

As others say push back using the legitimate reason which is he risks losing furlough for all staff if the rules are broken.

Make him aware that as a member of a profession you can't break HMRC rules.. as company director he should also be keen to be compliant.

I think there is a genuine lack of understanding with some managers but HMRC will audit businesses and your access to the system will be auditable.

roses2 Thu 09-Apr-20 21:59:12

Surely if you sign off the accounts and send to HMRC they will see your name on it and put two and two together??

Tonyaster Thu 09-Apr-20 22:01:38

He is breaking the law by ringing you during furlough. He can reemploy you after 3 weeks

emojisarentwords Thu 09-Apr-20 22:06:17

Even bits and bobs whilst you're furloughed are not okay. I would respond to him with something along the lines of "I would love to help but not prepared to break the law..."

Devlesko Thu 09-Apr-20 22:09:29

Can you not do any work when furlough, I've seen people on here talking about it and it not being questioned.
Are there exceptions, it's very confusing.

Tonyaster Thu 09-Apr-20 22:13:08

There are no exceptions

Anyone furloughed CANNOT work.

If they do work their employer is breaking the law and there will be a way for whistleblowers to report them

Cuddling57 Thu 09-Apr-20 22:17:24

Some good advise above.
Do you belong to professional body? Explain to him you can't risk your membership by doing this. And he shouldn't risk fraud.

Honeyroar Thu 09-Apr-20 22:22:00

I think you’re going to have to be blunt. Remind him that he’s kept B on to work and furloughed you, so he and B need to cover the work themselves. Tell him he’s being extremely unfair, as well as breaking the law by keeping ringing you up and asking you to do work. Tell them you understand he had to furloughed someone, but it was his decision to decide what work needed covering.

CaroleBaskin Thu 09-Apr-20 22:36:34

What an absolute dick. I know some people didn't have a choice with who was furloughed and who wasn't as it was decided by the powers that be but if you are certain that he is the powers that be then it's his own fault.

He either doesn't understand furlough or thinks the rules don't apply to him. Either way he is taking advantage which won't be good for your morale and breaking the law.

You are absolutely right in sticking to your guns and can word it nicely enough that he understands this is his doing and you are simply law abiding.

MamaGee09 Thu 09-Apr-20 22:41:37

I’m furloughed and can’t do any work, training, .org anything related to work.

He’s taking the piss.

AuditAngel Thu 09-Apr-20 22:43:58

I raised a query within my firm. I was advised that furloughed employees could join regular catch up calls, I queried that this constituted working and risked the furlough status.

I still don’t agree with them

If you are furloughed, you cannot work for your employer. You can However volunteer or work for someone else, subject to terms set out by your employer

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