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Old 06.01.2021, 12:26
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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.
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Old 06.01.2021, 12:30
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Re: Employer insists on working from the office

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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.
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Old 06.01.2021, 12:50
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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?
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Old 06.01.2021, 12:53
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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!
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Old 06.01.2021, 13:26
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Re: Employer insists on working from the office

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I'm so sorry to hear this and am furious with our government's response.
And I am quite pleased with their response.

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Working from home should be mandatory if it is an option.
If it's mandatory, it is NOT an option.

Tom
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Old 06.01.2021, 14:16
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Re: Employer insists on working from the office

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And I am quite pleased with their response.



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

Tom
I think she meant, it should be mandated to work from home if at all possible. Which I agree with.
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Old 06.01.2021, 14:18
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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.
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Old 06.01.2021, 17:16
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Re: Employer insists on working from the office

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

Tom
It is only mandatory because certain employers are stuck in the dark ages and feel they can only manage an employee if they are present in an office. There is no actual need to have someone who works in a desk job with a computer and a VPN to come regularly into the office right now...
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Old 07.01.2021, 17:31
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Re: Employer insists on working from the office

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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.
I agree with this advice. I believe new measures will be announced on the 20th. One of them might be mandatory WFH. It would be a bit hasty, especially for a young person just starting their career, to leave their job or get into a confrontation over a situation which may become redundant in 2 weeks.
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Old 07.01.2021, 18:13
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Re: Employer insists on working from the office

I love a mix of office and working from home not during pandemic times. While I understand some of you still want to go into the office right now, it is the selfish thing to do.

There have been several cases transmitted in my spotlessly clean (scrubbed all day by a cleaning staff) office, where we are also required to wear masks. If some people still come in, others feel pressured to as well. The best thing to do right now, is for everyone to make the necessary sacrifice & stay at home for a couple of months, so we can get the numbers down. It isn't asking the world of you...it is actually asking very little to request that you please stay home and work in your pyjamas. Without the mandate, short sighted bosses continue to insist their employees come into the office and cases will still needlessly spread.

My mental health is certainly suffering (battled with depression my entire life) due to isolation, but it would suffer much more if I harmed someone else by spreading the virus for no good reason, got sick myself or I lost someone I loved.
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Old 14.01.2021, 07:58
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Re: Employer insists on working from the office

So now that WFH will be mandatory, what are the consequences for employees or employers and companies not following the rules? I canít seem to find the answer in the BAG site.
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Old 14.01.2021, 12:08
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Re: Employer insists on working from the office

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While I understand some of you still want to go into the office right now, it is the selfish thing to do.
Alas, WFH is rarely possible, especially at the moment where I need several cabinets of equipment that will not fit at home, and that at least one other person also needs to use.

Tom
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Old 06.01.2021, 12:52
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Re: Employer insists on working from the office

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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.
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Old 06.01.2021, 13:07
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Re: Employer insists on working from the office

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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.
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Old 07.01.2021, 08:27
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Re: Employer insists on working from the office

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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.

My wife works in UK insurance for Allianz and they basically set up Citrix access for the entire call centre staff in March and gave them each a company mobile phone to take calls on with a headset. Anyone who didn't have a sufficient laptop was provided as well with a work laptop if they couldn't use Citrix. If a major insurance call centre can manage it then most similar companies should be able to as well.

It's pretty much always possible now - it just costs money.
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Old 07.01.2021, 08:55
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Re: Employer insists on working from the office

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My wife works in UK insurance for Allianz and they basically set up Citrix access for the entire call centre staff in March and gave them each a company mobile phone to take calls on with a headset. Anyone who didn't have a sufficient laptop was provided as well with a work laptop if they couldn't use Citrix. If a major insurance call centre can manage it then most similar companies should be able to as well.

It's pretty much always possible now - it just costs money.
All the OP has told us is that her son works in customer services, so it could be any small or medium sized company with limited resources. Comparing "the average" with a company the size and richness of your wife's may be a bit of a stretch.
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Old 07.01.2021, 09:40
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Re: Employer insists on working from the office

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All the OP has told us is that her son works in customer services, so it could be any small or medium sized company with limited resources. Comparing "the average" with a company the size and richness of your wife's may be a bit of a stretch.

I appreciate that but the costs would be also much lower for a small or medium sized company as well. The point still stands in that cloud Citrix access, telephony etc is very easy to set up nowadays if the company wants it (the IF is usually the issue).

Most companies who don't want their staff working from home suffer more from staff trust issues than technology issues in my experience.
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Old 07.01.2021, 09:53
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Re: Employer insists on working from the office

My wife doesn't want me to work from home.

Tom
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Old 06.01.2021, 13:22
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Re: Employer insists on working from the office

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My son's employer is insisting that he continues to work from the office during the lockdown.
What lockdown?

Tom
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Old 06.01.2021, 14:15
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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.
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