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Furlough

LaughingLollyLaughingLolly Member Posts: 97 Pioneering
edited June 30 in Ask an employment adviser
Hi,

Even though I had not done any shifts for a year I was offered a furlough package by my work. I did not take it as I had wanted to leave due to feeling I was just too unwell to work, slightly paranoid about everything, anxious, unsupported and lacking confidence about protecting my immune system. Being able to do 3 shifts a year  didn't feel worth it when it results in the DWP constantly checking up on you to make sure you're not doing extra hours you're not declaring (even though I work for a registered charity and that would never happen!) So, I did not. 

However, I feel my circumstances might change soon and I might get shifted on to Univeral Credit as a result. If I later decided to accept the furlough (They said I could change my mind at any point) then would I be forced back to work when they feel it's safe? I would only want to go if I felt safe. I have four of the predisposing factors which mean I'm at higher risk of dying from COVID so I am feeling rather nervous about this plus I had already asked to resign (which they didn't act upon) because previous to COVID I felt I could not protect my immune system in their environment. 

I'm mainly asking if people accepting a furlough package also have to accept going back to work when they say you must because you've now accepted the package? 
A laugh a day keeps the psychiatrist at bay. 
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Replies

  • CressidaCressida Member Posts: 456 Pioneering
    edited May 24
    If you have received the 'shielding' letter you shouldn't be working at the moment. (Just editing as this sounds a bit blunt!). As a shielding person myself I get anxious when I think of vulnerable people putting themselves at risk by going outside! I am able to work from home but the furlough scheme sounds the right way to go for you. If your furlough relates to health issues I cannot see that you would be forced back to work in an unsafe environment. I have already been told that I will not be going back for some time. I work in a hospital environment so feel at greater risk. 
  • mikehughescqmikehughescq Member Posts: 4,391 Disability Gamechanger
    If you accept being furloughed then you’re accepting being an employee. The return to work is then a discussion between you, your union and your employer. If you’re not happy with some aspect of that then the onus is really on you to raise it.
  • Denise11Denise11 Member Posts: 69 Courageous
    Hi!
    If you are being furloughed and you are at high risk your employers know and would understand.  Therefore, you could ask your GP to give you a sickness certificate until you or your GP felt it was safe for you to return.  And the fact that your employer  has said that if you change  you mind about being furloughed shows that they want you back, which shows you are a valued employee!  You should feel very proud of yourself for that.  
  • janer1967janer1967 Community champion Posts: 1,485 Pioneering
    Hi @LaughingLolly Welcome to the community its great to have you on board and I hope the advice given has been of use to you and answered your question.

    If there is anything else you want help with just ask if not look forward to seeing you around
  • mikehughescqmikehughescq Member Posts: 4,391 Disability Gamechanger
    Denise11 said:
    Hi!
    If you are being furloughed and you are at high risk your employers know and would understand.  Therefore, you could ask your GP to give you a sickness certificate until you or your GP felt it was safe for you to return.  And the fact that your employer  has said that if you change  you mind about being furloughed shows that they want you back, which shows you are a valued employee!  You should feel very proud of yourself for that.  
    That’s an interesting take. I’ve quite a lot of anecdotal evidence to the contrary especially with regard to the NHS where people are being asked to return to work after having COVID-19 and despite there still being no PPE; where staff are classified as vulnerable and bosses are giving them a choice of work or be dismissed and so on. There are advantages for employers in furloughing even staff who have not appeared regularly in recent times. It’s not always about niceness.
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