Being forced back to work
Icecreamdays · 28/04/2020 13:54
Looking for advice for partner.
He was furloughed but received letter today saying he is to start back his usual nightshift position on Monday. He works in a large fabrication workshop. His employer says they are introducing safe working practice that he will be informed of on Monday at arrival. The only thing they were told is that the kitchen is not to be used so can’t cook hot meals or use the kettle. I don’t understand how he can be forced to do this when we are still in lockdown and he is not a key worker. Any advice appreciated
CloudsCanLookLikeSheep · 28/04/2020 13:57
The lockdown does not ban non essential working, only says that if the work can be done from home it should be.
Plenty of non essential workers are working at the the moment. Presumably his employer needs to make money to keep going?
RedskyAtnight · 28/04/2020 13:58
You are allowed to go to work, if you can't work from home (which it sounds like he can't). This applies to everyone, not just keyworkers.
MilkNoSugars · 28/04/2020 13:59
The government guidance is that people are allowed to go to work if the work cannot be done from home.
So his company are able to un- furlough staff but must ensure staff are safe eg 2m apart and any other H&S measures they need to take.
MilkNoSugars · 28/04/2020 14:00
Cross posted, sorry!
WorraLiberty · 28/04/2020 14:04
Agree with others. It was never about essential workers only.
Everyone's going to have to make small changes and allowances.
Tell him to bring a packed lunch and a flask of coffee. Perhaps his own hand soap/sanitiser too, incase he's not keen on the work one.
Icecreamdays · 28/04/2020 14:05
Thank you all. I thought there had to be access to cook a hot meal on shift. His work are 10 hour shifts. Not that he would be taking the risk of sharing ovens or kettles. But I presumed this was statutory in workplaces.
ArnoldBee · 28/04/2020 14:15
I've had a quick google and I cant find anything though if that was the case how would people work on building sites etc?
WorraLiberty · 28/04/2020 14:17
I believe the basic provision is access to a kettle or vending machine and a microwave.
But I don't think anyone's going to shoot employers if they can't provide that, given the current climate.
WorraLiberty · 28/04/2020 14:19
ArnoldBee, probably a porta-cabin.
hellsbells99 · 28/04/2020 14:20
you are worried that he won't have access to hot food for 10 hours? That applies to a lot of people under normal work circumstances. My husband works 12 hour shifts and takes sandwiches, salad and other cold food with him. In current circumstances, I would not think your husband would want to use communal facilities anyway
GrumpyHoonMain · 28/04/2020 14:22
Is it statutory? I used to work in IT in banking and we often needed to be working nights in the office (or close to the office) for software releases. We only ever got access to drinking water and a toilet (if working offsite the toilet might be in a nearby MacDonalds!).
SquirtleSquad · 28/04/2020 14:23
Can't he take a flask with hot soup / noodles for a hot meal? Or just take sandwiches?
Icandada · 28/04/2020 14:24
It’s very normal to eat sandwiches rather than a hot meal at work It is definitely not a reason to refuse to go to work. Blimey.
BuffaloCauliflower · 28/04/2020 14:26
Access to a hot meal is not a requirement of any workplace in the UK
SpudsAreLife84 · 28/04/2020 14:26
Of course there is no legal provision for a hot meal at work a cold packed lunch is perfectly adequate! I work 10-12 hour days and always eat sandwiches or salad etc.
Icecreamdays · 28/04/2020 14:26
Ok that’s great thanks again for your advice much appreciated 😊 i guess as long as they are staying apart and the workplace provides cleaning supplies for wiping down machinery after each worker then that’s all they are expected to do. He works with metal and I heard the virus lives 72 hours on this and the metal will pass through workers doing different stages but I can’t see how this could be sanitised so I guess as long as he’s using hand sanitiser and washing his hands regularly it’s as safe as it can be. I understand that we need to get back to work and find new safe working practices so we can move forward.
P1nkHeartLovesCake · 28/04/2020 14:28
If you can’t work from you are allowed to work.
Employees can’t be furloughed forever, the government aren’t going to keep paying his wage and the economy needs businesses making money.
If he really feels the need for a hot meal invest in a flask for soup/pasta otherwise it’s sandwiches etc. He’ll survive and can eat a hot meal before or after work
Icecreamdays · 28/04/2020 14:31
On a second note just to clear any confusion. He didn’t want to use the cooking facilities but some of the other workers were asking about this and I wondered if anyone knew if it was statutory so he could pass this on.
SquirtleSquad · 28/04/2020 14:31
Wouldn't gloves make more sense and waste less time than repeatedly sanitising metal?
Icecreamdays · 28/04/2020 14:36
Well I don’t know about gloves what’s the advice on that? I was told to stop wearing them in my work because they transfer germs.
Icecreamdays · 28/04/2020 14:45
The advice in my workplace is to wash hands on entering. Sanitise the surfaces, phones, keyboards , filling cabinets etc. Wash hands again and then they say it’s sanitary. Each shift does the same and we work in pairs at the moment. There is things like files that we touch that can’t be sanitised which I was wearing gloves for but the advice I was given was wash your hands instead. Let’s just say I had to invest in a good hand cream 😝
Khione · 28/04/2020 14:47
Gloves would be counterproductive. As soon as you touch something they are contaminated just the same as your hands BUT the virus will live longer on them than on your hands.
Also wearing gloves gives people a false sense of security as people are less likely to wash their glove wearing hands as often as they would wash their hands. The important thing is to wash hands before starting work. Before and after toilet, food and drink breaks and crucially at the end of the shift and again once home.
Sanitizer can be used instead of some of these washes but should be relied on as little as possible as washing with soap and water not only kills the virus it washes it away.
Lougle · 28/04/2020 18:36
If you read government guidance, the workplace doesn't even have to provide 'safe' distancing if it isn't possible. If the workers have to be placed closer than 2m apart, they are advised to have them facing away from each other or next to each other, rather than face to face.
Icecreamdays · 28/04/2020 19:20
I think it’s very interesting that everyone has different thoughts about what’s supposed to be going on. I thought it was keyworkers only. I was given a letter incase I was stopped by the police. What it comes down to is that everything appears to be guidance and suggestions rather than rules and regulations. As the day has went on I have seen more places are set to reopen so hopefully this is good for us all and not us acting to soon in order to protect the economy rather than lives.
Lougle · 28/04/2020 20:12
Manufacturing and processing businesses
Manufacturing plays an important role in the economy. It can continue if done in accordance with the social distancing guidelines wherever possible.
Where it is not possible to follow the social distancing guidelines in full in relation to a particular activity, you should consider whether that activity needs to continue for the business to continue to operate, and, if so, take all the mitigating actions possible to reduce the risk of transmission between staff.
If you decide the work should continue, staff should work side by side or facing away from each other rather than face-to-face if possible.
You should increase the frequency of cleaning procedures, pausing production in the day if necessary for cleaning staff to wipe down workstations with disinfectant.
You should assign staff to the same shift teams to limit social interaction.
You should not allow staff to congregate in break times; you should consider arrangements such as staggered break times so that staff can continue to practice social distancing when taking breaks.
You should communicate to all staff that they should wash their hands with soap and water for 20 seconds or more at the beginning and end of every break, when they arrive at work and before they leave. To help with this, you should consider adding additional pop-up handwashing stations or facilities, providing soap, water and/or hand sanitiser.
When entering and leaving, you should ensure your workforce stays 2 metres apart as much as possible. To protect your staff, you should remind colleagues daily to only come into work if they are well and no one in their household is self-isolating.
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