finance

Bosses offer extra pay and holiday to workers going into offices throughout coronavirus crisis


BOSSES have been giving extra pay and holiday days to disgruntled workers who’ve continued going into offices during the coronavirus crisis, according to HR professionals. 

The extra perks were dished out after some employees said they were annoyed about their colleagues working from home.

Bosses have been trying to keep the office peace by dishing out extra pay and holiday days to disgruntled workers

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Bosses have been trying to keep the office peace by dishing out extra pay and holiday days to disgruntled workersCredit: Getty Images – Getty

Some staff have even resorted to launching official complaints through so-called grievance procedures, says the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD).

As well as offering extra pay and holiday, some bosses have asked furloughed workers to return early to help maintain good office relationships. 

It comes after Boris Johnson urged Brits to get back to work from August 1.

Instead of all employees being encouraged to work from home, the Prime Minister says it’s now down to bosses to decide if they want staff back in the office.

Do you have to return to work? Your rights explained

IF you’re worried about going back to work, you should speak to your boss straight away to discuss your options.

Employers should ultimately support your decision to work from home if you can continue to do so – but they don’t have to do this.

This is because businesses have the right to tell you where they’d like you to work.

You may also be asked to explain why you don’t want to go back to the office.

If you ultimately decide not to go in and your boss fires you, you may have grounds to bring an unfair dismissal claim to an employment tribunal, according to Michael Newman, partner at law firm Leigh Day.

Is anyone exempt from returning to work?

You won’t be expected to go back to the office if you’re showing symptoms of coronavirus.

This is because you’ll need to self-isolate for at least ten days, meaning you can’t go to work or even leave your home.

See the NHS website for more on what to do in this situation.

There are also some scenarios where your boss will be required to take extra precautionary measures to keep you safe at work.

For example, if you’re pregnant, Citizens Advice says your employer has a responsibility to make changes to your job so it’s safe for you to keep working.

It’s also worth raising your concerns to your boss if you have a health condition or you’re over 70.

But the CIPD says some staff are refusing to go back because they’re too anxious, with some not wanting to come off furlough at all.

Mr Johnson has previously said working from home should still be an option.

Companies also need to ensure their workplaces are Covid-secure before staff can return.

Katie Jacobs, a senior stakeholder lead at the CIPD, told The Telegraph: “At the beginning, the attitude was ‘we are all in this together’ but as time goes on that has dissipated.

“Some employers have paid bonuses or given extra perks like a few days’ holiday to differentiate those still going into work.”

Ms Jacobs estimates that only 20 to 30 per cent of office staff will be expected to return to work before the autumn or year end.

The CIPD previously told The Telegraph that bosses shouldn’t rush to bring staff back and urged employers to be “flexible” with workers.

Throughout the coronavirus crisis, some 9.5 million people have been furloughed by their boss.

But the scheme, which launched in April 2020, is winding down this month before it ends completely in October.

From August, employers will have to contribute national insurance and pension contributions rather than the government picking up this bill.

Then in September, they’ll have to pay 10 per cent of salaries as well, before this increases to 20 per cent of salaries from October.

Experts from economic thinktank National Institute of Economic and Social Research have warned the end of the scheme could result in 1.2million Brits being made redundant by Christmas.

Unemployment has already shot up by 649,000 workers since lockdown with the Covid-19 crisis claiming an 74,000 extra jobs last month, according to data from the Office for National Statistics.

Manufacturers begged for furlough to be extended by six months and warned of massive job losses “like in the 1980’s”.

Martin Lewis has also helped to launch a campaign aimed at raising awareness for the millions of people excluded from coronavirus financial support.

Unemployment in the UK could TREBLE this year to 3million, the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) has predicted.

Chancellor Rishi Sunak outlines new £1,000 jobs retention bonus for employers who bring back furloughed workers





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