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How my daughter's workplace initially responded to the virus.

Not a good example

Aely  Female  Hampshire 24-Mar-2020 22:28 Message #4773621
My elder daughter works for a major British company. She lives 40 miles or so from her place of work but because most of her work is done on the computer (graphic design of various sorts) for the past couple of years she has been provided with a secure online connection so she could work from home 2 days of the 5 every week. Healthwise, like her sister, she suffers from Asthma and has had steroid treatment for chest complaints recently. (4 years living next to the M3 in their youth and they both became asthmatics).

When the governmental advice on safe distancing and to work from home if possible came through she suggested doing so to her line manager, only going to the office if required, perhaps one day a week. She was told that on the contrary, she would be required to give up her secure line and attend the office 5 days a week. This would apply to all staff at the site. The existing secure facilities would then be re-allocated to the more important members of staff. "Safe distancing" would have been impossible. In addition the secure buildings have circulating air systems, a bit like being in an aircraft. Sealed windows. Security doors. One suspected case of the virus had already occurred in a neighbouring building and no extra cleaning had been done. When the staff in his shared work area asked for a precautionary deep clean they were given cloths and some disinfectant.

My daughter expressed her dissatisfaction and was told she would have to have a medical assessment. She went into work on Monday, very worried, with such medical evidence she could find and later in the morning, to her relief, she was classified at risk as safe distancing could not be applied and sent packing with instructions to log in when she reached home and several times during the day, presumably to make sure she wasn't skiving off. This was in spite of the fact that she had worked from home previously, with no complaints.

Thankfully for the rest of the staff, later in the day she received an email saying that instructions had been received from Head Office. The site was closed.
eurostar  Female  Merseyside 24-Mar-2020 23:09 Message #4773623
That's such a shame because I, ve heard so many stories of good and amazing employers in the last month
Aely  Female  Hampshire 24-Mar-2020 23:19 Message #4773626
Euro, 20 years ago I worked for the same company and they were really good employers but they have changed. Now, if an employee is off sick twice in a year, even with a sick note from the doctor, they face a disciplinary interview with possible removal of sick pay. (They are "contracted out", ie the company gives sick pay rather than the government). They have recently also tried to impose compulsory "voluntary" overtime! Mind you, they didn't get very far with that idea...
eurostar  Female  Merseyside 24-Mar-2020 23:22 Message #4773627
But in these unprecedented times, compassion and caring should be utmost, I, m off work for the three weeks with child off school so my garden will be my workplace lol
Minnie-the-Minx  Female  Hertfordshire 25-Mar-2020 06:23 Message #4773632
The company that I work for is chaotic, disorganised, under-resourced. It's a challenging environment in many ways, from being bombarded with emails, repeated follow-up, lack of prioritisation or alignment of priorities across the organisation. It is a highly pressured atmosphere.

Despite that, it is one of the most equal work environments that I have ever worked in, and during my time there, I have seen very little evidence of bullying or discrimination of any kind. Anyone like that doesn't seem to last very long. My immediate management chain are nice people and I would say that we are well managed, or at least in a management style that suits me, i.e. hands off, but supportive if back-up needed.

I had a bit of a burnout end of 2017/early 2018 due to overwork and ended up signed off work for 4 months, for which I was on full pay throughout. I was fully supported on my return to work and they handled it really well. Since then, I have worked mostly at home. It's not a big deal, since most of the people that I work with are not in the office either; not even in the same country, as it happens. My manager is happy for me to do that if I can work better that way and it stops me from getting stressed.

When all the covid thing kicked off, we were all told that no-one should feel that they should have to go into the office if they don't feel safe there, and in particular people with young children, elderly dependents or anyone with an underlying medical condition. Obviously, anyone in a production area have to continue to be on site, but the nature of the work is such that they are well spread out across the working area most of the time. The company's main priority during the crisis seems to be to maintain a healthy work force, so that business continues as normal as possible. When someone was confirmed with covid-19 last week, everyone in the building was told to pack up and go home directly and the building was closed for 4 days whilst they did a deep clean. Anyone with direct contact with that person was asked to self isolate and work from home. On the whole, I would say that we have been pretty well looked after. Mind you, I would say that there is a large degree of self interest; being a technology company in a highly specialised field and people with my skills and experience are like gold dust.

Sadly, the aviation arm of the company has been badly hit by the crisis and there will be a very large reduction in the work force. CEOs have taken a voluntary paycut. Ironically, in the healthcare sector that I work in, we are busier than ever and I am busy trying not to let them flog me to death again.
Hierophant  Male  East Anglia 25-Mar-2020 08:05 Message #4773634
As an aside I think the idea of a "deep clean" is being sold as some dramatic cleaning process where everything is sprayed with specialist machines full of powerful disinfectant and nothing will ever live in the environment ever again.
In reality, at least in my experience, it simply means a few more minutes are used cleaning hard surfaces with an appropriate cleaner. This coronavirus can be dealt with cleaning wise with a suitable hand sprayer and a cloth...
Topaz53  Female  Northamptonshire 30-Mar-2020 03:15 Message #4774246
My son works for a well known American company who's policy seems to be you're collateral damage so work till you drop ....regardless of

So can I be so controversial to say money over life...???

You work it out !

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