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-   -   Employer insists on working from the office (https://www.englishforum.ch/employment/302048-employer-insists-working-office.html)

Tivimar 06.01.2021 12:26

Employer insists on working from the office
 
My son's employer is insisting that he continues to work from the office during the lockdown.
He is working in Customer Services, so all his work is computer and telephone based - something he could do from home.
Is it entirely up to the employer to decide whether the work has to be carried out in the office?
Is there any official body which we could ask to verify that they are behaving correctly?
I understand that they would be liable if any employees were to contract Covid, but it does seem that they are happy to take the risk.
Our issue is that there are other people in our household who are vulnerable and for whom this practice could have serious consequences.

TonyClifton 06.01.2021 12:30

Re: Employer insists on working from the office
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Tivimar (Post 3258935)
My son's employer is insisting that he continues to work from the office during the lockdown.
He is working in Customer Services, so all his work is computer and telephone based - something he could do from home.
Is it entirely up to the employer to decide whether the work has to be carried out in the office?
Is there any official body which we could ask to verify that they are behaving correctly?
I understand that they would be liable if any employees were to contract Covid, but it does seem that they are happy to take the risk.
Our issue is that there are other people in our household who are vulnerable and for whom this practice could have serious consequences.

Currently it is only a recommendation from the State that people work from home, it is not mandatory. This means there is nothing he can do with an "official body" at this moment in time, this advice could yet change though so he should keep a look out for the official announcements.

Your son could try talking to his employer to explain the situation regarding vulnerable people at home. If the employer doesn't take this on board then I would suggest your son starts looking for another job.

kri 06.01.2021 12:50

Re: Employer insists on working from the office
 
Assuming you are speaking about Switzerland, there is no lockdown just FYI. Just "measures".

As mentioned the WFH is a strong recommendation, but not mandatory. When asked at a press conference why it was not made mandatory, the answer was that the recommendation is enough. I don't believe it is and see everyday too many commuters.

Today the parlament is meeting to finalize new measures of which work from home is again one of them. Perhaps wait and see and after that do talk about concerns with regards to vulnerable household members.

Just to be clear - I am not sure what liability you are referring to with regards to catching CoVid at work - can you clarify?

bowlie 06.01.2021 12:52

Re: Employer insists on working from the office
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Tivimar (Post 3258935)
My son's employer is insisting that he continues to work from the office during the lockdown.
He is working in Customer Services, so all his work is computer and telephone based - something he could do from home.
Is it entirely up to the employer to decide whether the work has to be carried out in the office?
Is there any official body which we could ask to verify that they are behaving correctly?
I understand that they would be liable if any employees were to contract Covid, but it does seem that they are happy to take the risk.
Our issue is that there are other people in our household who are vulnerable and for whom this practice could have serious consequences.

I don't think there is any liability for the employer should an employee contract Covid. It would be impossible to prove that someone was infected at a specific location. Even if his deskmate was infected, he could have caught it somewhere else.

Suggest he talk to his employer and explain the vulnerable people at home and ask for an exception. He might have to give some productivity guarantees.

Susie-Q 06.01.2021 12:53

Re: Employer insists on working from the office
 
I'm so sorry to hear this and am furious with our government's response. Working from home should be mandatory if it is an option, (i.e. office based work) and I am sure it will be once this new variant spreads soon.

My work was also initially difficult, and I obtained a doctor's note demanding I work from home due to my at-risk category. Do you have a family doctor who could write this for your son?

If you cannot get a doctor's note and the employer still won't budge, do not let your son quit - make the employer fire him for this so that he may collect from RAV/have benefits.

Wishing you all the best luck!

Chuff 06.01.2021 13:07

Re: Employer insists on working from the office
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Tivimar (Post 3258935)
My son's employer is insisting that he continues to work from the office during the lockdown.
He is working in Customer Services, so all his work is computer and telephone based - something he could do from home.

Are you actually sure he could work from home... does he have his own company laptop with VPN access to the company systems? Has he ever done it before?

Some busy customer services centres don't provide remote working capability due to the more complex telephony systems that you need to be on site to use.

st2lemans 06.01.2021 13:22

Re: Employer insists on working from the office
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Tivimar (Post 3258935)
My son's employer is insisting that he continues to work from the office during the lockdown.

What lockdown? :confused:

Tom

st2lemans 06.01.2021 13:26

Re: Employer insists on working from the office
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Susie-Q (Post 3258951)
I'm so sorry to hear this and am furious with our government's response.

And I am quite pleased with their response. ;)

Quote:

Originally Posted by Susie-Q (Post 3258951)
Working from home should be mandatory if it is an option.

If it's mandatory, it is NOT an option. :rolleyes:

Tom

Tivimar 06.01.2021 14:15

Re: Employer insists on working from the office
 
I believe employers would have to continue to pay staff if they were unable to work due to Covid - this is what I meant by "liability".

I think that many employers have reasoned that the risk involved in keeping the office open is enough for them to switch to home working. That risk would also include their staff being unable to come to the office if they needed to self-isolate. I think that companies have been adept at finding technical solutions to this when there has been a will to do it.

Lockdown = measures taken to suppress the spread of the virus, whether by encouragement or legal means.

There does seem to be narrative in the press that the main cause of the spread is irresponsible people not following the guidelines and behaving in a reckless manner but I wonder if it is the case that many people are caught in a trap caused by their economic circumstances that is a bigger factor.

kri 06.01.2021 14:16

Re: Employer insists on working from the office
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by st2lemans (Post 3258972)
And I am quite pleased with their response. ;)



If it's mandatory, it is NOT an option. :rolleyes:

Tom

I think she meant, it should be mandated to work from home if at all possible. Which I agree with.

swisspea 06.01.2021 14:18

Re: Employer insists on working from the office
 
If your son is a trainee then he needs to fulfil supervised working practice. speaking from experience, this would be very difficult to achieve with remote working young people.


Right now, from the other side of the fence (young adults in our household who cannot get jobs/practicums/apprentices) I would personally say that he is far better not complaining.


If you are afraid of covid, speak to your doctor. As others have said, if you are considered to be in a 'risk category' then that may change your thinking, but my employer has just been basically told by her doctor that if the family have contact with a single person who is from outside the household, don't wear a mask 100% when outside the household, then they are at risk, and it makes very little difference of any further measures...



I am sure you do not want to lock down your son to keep him at home 100% - if he is going to work, he is probably also socialising with friends...



balance that against his mental health, career progress, and don't under-estimate the normalising effect of getting up in the morning, travelling to the office, being in a professional environment, and getting away from the parental influence for a period of time...



And this will go on for at least another 6-12 months.

kri 06.01.2021 14:18

Re: Employer insists on working from the office
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Tivimar (Post 3259001)

There does seem to be narrative in the press that the main cause of the spread is irresponsible people not following the guidelines and behaving in a reckless manner but I wonder if it is the case that many people are caught in a trap caused by their economic circumstances that is a bigger factor.

Probably for the CoVid thread but I think it would really help if the government really digged into where CoVid is spreading and which are hotspots but I think the numbers dont let us do that....

gipfelisturmer 06.01.2021 14:24

Re: Employer insists on working from the office
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Tivimar (Post 3259001)
Lockdown = measures taken to suppress the spread of the virus, whether by encouragement or legal means.

No, "measures" are not equivalent to lockdown.
In a "full" lockdown you would not even be able to leave the house without a valid reason.
But that's a digression off the topic...

st2lemans 06.01.2021 14:29

Re: Employer insists on working from the office
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by kri (Post 3259002)
I think she meant, it should be mandated to work from home if at all possible. Which I agree with.

Mandated, no, encouraged, yes.

Tom

st2lemans 06.01.2021 14:31

Re: Employer insists on working from the office
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Tivimar (Post 3259001)
Lockdown = measures taken to suppress the spread of the virus, whether by encouragement or legal means.

Wrong.

Tom

Ato 06.01.2021 14:36

Re: Employer insists on working from the office
 
We're still in the office. It is optional for the company to chose where their employees are working from. It's mandatory for me to be in the office according to my employer. I could optionally ignore this and work from home, my company could then optionally fire me for not turning up.
I never had much interest in mandating. I've generally been interested in the opposite sex.

Chuff 06.01.2021 14:42

Re: Employer insists on working from the office
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Ato (Post 3259022)
I never had much interest in mandating. I've generally been interested in the opposite sex.

That sounds a bit creepy.

Ato 06.01.2021 14:44

Re: Employer insists on working from the office
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Chuff (Post 3259026)
That sounds a bit creepy.

With deliberate, ambiguous intent.

kri 06.01.2021 14:54

Re: Employer insists on working from the office
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by st2lemans (Post 3259017)
Mandated, no, encouraged, yes.

Tom

Well I believe it should be mandatory now to work from home if one can.

Axa 06.01.2021 15:01

Re: Employer insists on working from the office
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Tivimar (Post 3259001)
I believe employers would have to continue to pay staff if they were unable to work due to Covid - this is what I meant by "liability".

This is how the system works. Companies buy some kind of employee salary insurance, don't know the specific name. The point is that the company pays 1-2 years of salary in case the employee gets sick and cannot work. This must be on the employment contract terms.

If the employee cannot return after 1-2 years, the employee needs to trigger the invalidity support from AHV/IV.


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