AS AN employee it is essential to know your rights during the pandemic, although they will be invalidated at your boss’s whim. For example:
You are furloughed
If you’re legally furloughed you shouldn’t even be responding to work emails, and there’s no way your boss is allowed to call you in. So your boss will do exactly that this week. And because you want to be de-furloughed, you’ll go along with it.
You have childcare issues
Employers should be treating childcare issues sensitively, so as usual they’ll disregard them entirely. Reluctant to leave a couple of school-age aspiring arsonists home alone? Surely you can find someone who will take your children full time, for free, at a moment’s notice?
You no longer fit into work clothes
No matter how casual the Friday, stained joggers don’t make it but nothing else closes over your gut. Unfortunately your boss wants solutions not problems, so get ready to arrive for your one-on-one in a belted trenchcoat, bringing chips ’n’ dip because you snack 24-7 now.
You don’t have a job any more
If you have been made redundant, clearly there is no scenario in which you can be obligated to go into your old office. Nobody told your boss that. He needs his team here and working, not lounging around being unemployed at home. So you go in.
You have Covid-19
While being infected with the virus requires you, as per government advice, to isolate at home, it is hardly the attitude of a team player. ‘Covid leave was over by the end of the second quarter,’ your boss will bark. ‘You need to suck it up and take one for the team. Be in by 7am.’