Coronavirus | Boss told staff to 'come into office' during lockdown

Boss told staff to 'come into office' during lockdown

The CEO of a firm reportedly told employees to work from the office during the last national lockdown or face ‘unpaid leave’ – City A.M reported.

In an email, boss of Infrastrata, John Wood, allegedly told staff that any person not wishing to come into the office during lockdown would be able to discuss a period of unpaid leave.

The email, which was sent to colleagues on November 4, 2020, and seen by City A.M reportedly read: “We are a small team and need to work from our various office’s [sic], should anyone not wish to work from the office then we will be able to discuss a period of unpaid leave.” 

England went into a second national lockdown in November. All non-essential shops closed and there was a renewed call to work from home where possible.

In the letter sent to his staff, Wood also noted that the firm preferred employees to avoid taking holidays abroad until April 2021, and that if they chose to do so, they would have to consider any isolation periods into that leave.

Staff were later told to work from home on December 14, 2020. In response to this story, Wood told City A.M: “Infrastrata employees have been working from home since Monday 14 December, when COVID 19 risk levels increased and since the national lockdown commenced our London office has been closed.”

In addition to this, he noted that Infrastrata takes the wellbeing of staff very seriously. “As such, [we] have invested in stress resilience training to help all members of our team to cope with the additional pressures that the COVID-19 pandemic has placed on their mental health.”

“...Infrastrata will continue to consider the health and wellbeing of its staff and work in a Covid-secure way,” he added.

'Lockdown 3.0'

On January 4, 2021, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced a third national lockdown where people in England were told to ‘stay at home to control the virus’.

Within this, explained that people are only able to leave their homes for certain reasons including food shopping, medical needs, for exercise and to go to work if this can’t be completed from home.

Work from home 'indefinitely'

However, whilst some companies have been reluctant to implement remote working, other companies such as social media giants Twitter and Facebook, as well as Google, are now allowing staff to do so indefinitely.

“The past few months have proven we can make that work. So, if our employees are in a role and situation that enables them to work from home and they want to continue to do so forever, we will make that happen,” A representative from Twitter told the BBC.

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