Furlough keeping in touch and questions on work

(18 Posts)
SHPLE Sun 12-Apr-20 18:45:15


I start furlough on Tuesday and the company I work for has made a few comments in a letter to the staff. They are:

1. If you are contacted on work telephone please tell the person and your boss.

2. You can’t work on furlough but you are able to assist with any handover/queries that another member of staff may have whilst there doing your work etc

3. Catch up meetings every week with the team but it’s more on a sociable basis etc

I have changed the wording my employer used to avoid making it obvious who my employer is however what do you think to their comments?

I have put a recorded message on my work mobile and switched it off. Whilst I’m on furlough I have no plans to turn it back on or respond to telephone calls.

I have cut off from our work WhatsApp group.

Whilst I have no problem answering questions regarding work I would have thought that constitutes work?

In my meeting with my boss he wanted me to go through emails every day and forward them on to the relevent person and I said no because that would mean I would have to be watching my email all day as I get a lot of it.

Is it me or is my employer totally taking the mick?

I have also turned my personal phone voicemail off and I’m thinking of turning the phone itself off just in case they try to contact me to ask questions every day.

They have kept the low paid juniors and put the higher salaried staff at director level on furlough. They must have known the juniors could not do some of the work we do.

My money has literally gone done nearly 2k and the work is still there and the clients are still paying the fees.

It’s coming across as very money grabbing.

What do you think? shock

OP’s posts: |
DoIneed1 Sun 12-Apr-20 19:03:38

If you are taking home around £8k a month still I think that you could easily log on twice a day and forward any emails received.

EnglishGirlApproximately Sun 12-Apr-20 19:08:02

I'm being topped up to 100% of my salary and have been told in no uncertain terms by my boss that I cant even log on. It isn't a case of if you're willing to or able to, of the company is taking money from the government you shouldn't be working at all. If theres work for you to do then you cant be furloughed.

BlueGheko Sun 12-Apr-20 19:09:48

The guidelines are clear though, in order to qualify for furlough you must not undertake any work for the company. We have a work WhatsApp, one for 'social', one for important updates regarding our profession, I have notifications turned off and just check it once a day.

trilbydoll Sun 12-Apr-20 19:12:10

Furlough means you are not working, for example you don't accrue holiday. So absolutely have a non work related chat with colleagues who are also friends but that is it.

To the pp I would guess the £2k drop is because the employer are not topping up the government £2,500 rather than that being 20% of the OP gross.

Justajot Sun 12-Apr-20 19:15:28

They can get your emails auto forwarded. Unless that doesn't work because it needs someone of your seniority to work out who to send them to. In which case you shouldn't be furloughed.

Dangermouse80 Sun 12-Apr-20 19:16:19

It is just normal social communication that can go on, not actual work that can be done. So no emails / telephone calls daily. I would just ensure you do a handover document before you go. Otherwise they are just taking the mick!

Littlegoth Sun 12-Apr-20 19:35:50

@trilbydoll statutory annual leave, and any contractual bump to annual leave entitlement continues to accrue during furlough. All contractual rights continue as normal as the employment contract is still in place. However, your employer can direct you to take any annual leave accrued during furlough while you are on furlough. Some will, some won’t.

SHPLE Sun 12-Apr-20 21:36:03

My basic salary is normally 70k so around £4K after tax per month. Now it’s dropped to £2.5k I can’t afford my basic bills and the standard of living in London.

I guess I’m just narked because I’m not being paid at the normal level and there expecting me to be available for phone calls e.g telling them what do and providing technical advice on tap.

Is anybody looking for other work or starting a new venture?

I’m thinking this could go on for months so I’m planning on thinking outside the box smile

OP’s posts: |
WhereIsTheSaladDoris Sun 12-Apr-20 21:52:56

@SHPLE you are allowed to receive communication, and carry out training.

Full guidance here: www.gov.uk/guidance/claim-for-wage-costs-through-the-coronavirus-job-retention-scheme but I’ve uploaded the section which breaks this down.

* Furlough means you are not working, for example you don't accrue holiday. So absolutely have a non work related chat with colleagues who are also friends but that is it*

That is incorrect advice as you do accrue holiday. Please don’t listen to this advice.

underneaththeash Sun 12-Apr-20 22:24:56

OP just do the minimum you feel is necessary to keep your job in the future.
If you feel it's safe, answer stuff very slowly, only answer the phone at the end of the day and they may realise that they actually need you.

DoIneed1 Sun 12-Apr-20 23:12:09

Op I apologise, I waa rather narky in my post. Hope you have had some good advice from this thread .

Trichinella Sun 12-Apr-20 23:42:51

I’m furloughed- 2 weeks now.
I did a verbal hand over to one of the directors the week it happened, so clients weren’t let down. I also dealt with a couple of queries with a colleague this week to clarify something I was halfway through before I left.
I keep an eye on the WhatsApp group but don’t comment.
My boss kindly phoned me this week to see if I was ok (they are very mindful of our well-being) - purely a courtesy call, no work discussions other than to say my furlough would be reviewed at the end of the month.

SHPLE Mon 13-Apr-20 11:04:13

Thanks everyone for all your advice.

I think my boss is very controlling and he does not like not being 100% in control.

The more I think about it the more I think I’ve been put on furlough because of my high salary and also the fact he does not have 100% control over me.

Prior to starting this job I had work which I said I would be willing to move to them but it hasn’t happened because of legal issues (not connected to me) and I don’t think he likes it.

He started asking me daily for updates and I had no control over the legal process so it started to get irritating to me and the other people involved. I felt hounded.

Just before I was furloughed I was asked about the work again and I just said it’s not moving right now due to the legal issues.

Now I’m officially starting furlough and guess what the legal issues are now resolved. It’s happened all at the same time. Told in going on furlough Thursday. Work arrived Friday. Furlough officially starts tomorrow.

Bearing in mind I am on furlough and im being paid by the government (for which I am very grateful) im tempted to hold this work back as I can do it as secondary employment whilst on furlough. Also if I’m made redundant in the coming months I have something to fall back on.

The project work is £3k per month before tax and there is other work in pipeline too so I could end up being able to make it up to the £70k basic salary I’m on now if not more when that comes in.

I’m reluctant to hand the work across to my current employer as I think redundancy could be looming ahead. I’ve only been employed by current employer under 1 year. The work is prestigious and with big brand names.

My current employer has been informed I will do other work whilst on furlough as they have put me in a position whereby I cannot afford basic bills. I have put this in writing to the company too.

If you were me would you give the work to current employer OR hold it back bearing in mind I could be on furlough for months or worst case scenario be made redundant?

I have made my key contact aware I’m on furlough and all other relevant details etc etc.

OP’s posts: |
SHPLE Mon 13-Apr-20 11:10:08

Sorry should have also said they are not going to current employer or communicating with them in any way. There not emailing me at work account either.

OP’s posts: |
flowery Mon 13-Apr-20 11:17:41

”I can do it as secondary employment whilst on furlough.”

Are you certain your contract with your employer allows you to do that?!

I0NA Mon 13-Apr-20 11:23:14

I think it’s reasonable to ask you to forward emails, assuming this takes 5 mins twice a day. Don’t you want to ensure that your contacts / clients are dealt with properly ?

£70k is a reasonable salary so you are not a junior, yet you seem to have a pretty poor attitude towards your company . So perhaps you’d be better to look for another position.

MamaGee09 Mon 13-Apr-20 11:26:36

My furlough agreement states that I do no work for the company, I can’t work anywhere else and I do not need to do staff training if it’s automatically comes through. I’m off with no interaction other than a social WhatsApp group which I rarely post on and will receive an email from head office when I need t9 start back!

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