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  • FIRST POST
    • lcc86
    • By lcc86 23rd Jul 18, 5:54 PM
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    lcc86
    Dreading upcoming changes
    • #1
    • 23rd Jul 18, 5:54 PM
    Dreading upcoming changes 23rd Jul 18 at 5:54 PM
    Hi all,


    We're going through some massive changes at work at present. About to move offices and go from being in 100% of the time to 50% and the rest working from home. Great, I hear you say! And it would be, if I wasn't in a front line role that requires seeing people face to face.


    We've been split into two very rigid teams so will never see other colleagues in the other team, which isn't conducive to joint working, a critical element of our jobs. We've asked numerous questions about equipment at home and our rights, and are fobbed off. In fact, every concern we have had is fobbed off pretty much. We're not equipped to work from home, we're not being given additional computer equipment, we're not being told if we need to change our home insurance (someone says we might have to but I have no idea if this is true), we can't print remotely, some people house share and don't have a confidential space to work from etc.


    We've put our concerns verbally to management but just get fobbed off and can't get a clear answer. We've also put them in writing to the team in charge of this change and don't even get a response.


    The one positive I can think of is the better work/life balance and time saved through not commuting, however this is offset by the fact I can't see clients and this type of arrangement is completely unsuited to our client group, which management are ignoring. Also the fact that nobody appears to have thought this through and is trying to fudge it to make it work. It makes me dread going to work every day as there's always a new issue, but we are consistently ignored. Meanwhile the day this new regime starts edges closer and closer.


    I am looking for a new job but jobs in my field are few and far between and I can't afford to take a pay cut at this time. We're not union members which is probably a mistake in hindsight. I've liaised with a few of my colleagues about some sort of joint action where we yet again try to present our concerns, but am worried about being in charge of it in case of repercussions.


    They claim they've consulted us but in reality we have given our concerns, they have ignored them, and told us how it will work. We've not been allowed to have any input. Even more than the impact on us is the impact on the client group we work with (vulnerable people) who will have less contact with us than they do now, and potentially have contact with us in non-confidential spaces, which is not conducive to the type of work we do.


    I'm not necessarily opposed to the change completely, but we need to be consulted, we need to be given the flexibility to come into work as and when needed rather than split into teams and not allowed in when it's not 'our turn', and we need to be given the right equipment to do the job. Does anybody have any advice re where we stand legally in terms of having these changes put upon us?
    http://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/showthread.php?t=5124473 - my original diary
    843/1000 EF 500 saved for household jobs
    Debt free and in the black for the first time in 11 years
Page 1
    • getmore4less
    • By getmore4less 23rd Jul 18, 6:17 PM
    • 32,647 Posts
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    getmore4less
    • #2
    • 23rd Jul 18, 6:17 PM
    • #2
    • 23rd Jul 18, 6:17 PM
    Ask how they will comply with data protection issues..

    Is this a contracted service to external stakeholders?
    • lcc86
    • By lcc86 23rd Jul 18, 7:06 PM
    • 1,010 Posts
    • 3,148 Thanks
    lcc86
    • #3
    • 23rd Jul 18, 7:06 PM
    • #3
    • 23rd Jul 18, 7:06 PM
    Ask how they will comply with data protection issues..

    Is this a contracted service to external stakeholders?
    Originally posted by getmore4less
    We've done that and been told it'll be looked into... This is an answer we seem to get a lot, which roughly translates to me as "oh sh*t we haven't thought about that".

    As far as I'm aware it's not contracted externally, there is a team in charge of the change but even they don't seem to know what's going on. It's to help save money, which I completely understand given the climate we're in, but it's being done inflexibly and with no thought of the impact.
    http://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/showthread.php?t=5124473 - my original diary
    843/1000 EF 500 saved for household jobs
    Debt free and in the black for the first time in 11 years
    • sangie595
    • By sangie595 23rd Jul 18, 8:07 PM
    • 5,054 Posts
    • 8,656 Thanks
    sangie595
    • #4
    • 23rd Jul 18, 8:07 PM
    • #4
    • 23rd Jul 18, 8:07 PM
    Where you stand legally depends on what you are prepared to do about it. We have this issue in spades right now- and even with a union, it actually does still depend on what the employees are willing to stand up for. Because got haven't even started thinking of the implications- not just b insurance, but the hearing and lighting bills in winter (in other words, most of the year in a normal year), council tax (at 50% of your time, then there's a case to be argued that your home becomes business premises!)....

    So the bottom line here, but it is a bottom line and if you don't ask stand together you will be picked off... your employer does not own your house and cannot make you work there! They can relocate you to other officescv they can relocate you to penises they rent, borrow or steal. But nobody can make you work from your own house. But bear in mind, there's possibly no half way measures here - if you say no it is very likely that the employer won't ever let you work from home. So it's your decision - will you all refuse, and are you prepared to fight until you win?

    Keep your arguments about you. Please accept this as no criticism of you, or lack of sympathy with your clients, but your job is to deliver the service the employer determines suitable. So that isn't your fight. There must be organisations that do represent the client groups. Let them fight that battle- and you stay well out of it, because it could very easily provide the employer with leverage to discipline you.

    You don't happen to be in a northern city on the east of the Pennines, do you? I ask because I happen to know a certain Council relocation that sounds very much what you describe here.
    • GlasweJen
    • By GlasweJen 23rd Jul 18, 8:28 PM
    • 6,595 Posts
    • 11,900 Thanks
    GlasweJen
    • #5
    • 23rd Jul 18, 8:28 PM
    • #5
    • 23rd Jul 18, 8:28 PM
    Sounds like a nightmare, is no one in a union at all?
    Bounts, Quidco, Shop and Scan, Receipt Hog, Costco Cashback, Debit card cashback

    NOT BUYING IT
    (unless it's on offer and can get my loyalty points)
    • Brynsam
    • By Brynsam 23rd Jul 18, 9:57 PM
    • 1,423 Posts
    • 1,019 Thanks
    Brynsam
    • #6
    • 23rd Jul 18, 9:57 PM
    • #6
    • 23rd Jul 18, 9:57 PM
    They can relocate you to other officescv they can relocate you to penises they rent, borrow or steal.
    Originally posted by sangie595
    Don't think these are sex workers, but you never know...

    Your insurer most certainly will need to know about this. There may also be issues where those living in leasehold flats and/or rented property are not permitted to carry out any sort of business from home, even just clerical work.

    GDPR is going to be a major issue if you are communicating by e-mail...
    • lcc86
    • By lcc86 23rd Jul 18, 9:59 PM
    • 1,010 Posts
    • 3,148 Thanks
    lcc86
    • #7
    • 23rd Jul 18, 9:59 PM
    • #7
    • 23rd Jul 18, 9:59 PM
    Where you stand legally depends on what you are prepared to do about it. We have this issue in spades right now- and even with a union, it actually does still depend on what the employees are willing to stand up for. Because got haven't even started thinking of the implications- not just b insurance, but the hearing and lighting bills in winter (in other words, most of the year in a normal year), council tax (at 50% of your time, then there's a case to be argued that your home becomes business premises!)....

    So the bottom line here, but it is a bottom line and if you don't ask stand together you will be picked off... your employer does not own your house and cannot make you work there! They can relocate you to other officescv they can relocate you to penises they rent, borrow or steal. But nobody can make you work from your own house. But bear in mind, there's possibly no half way measures here - if you say no it is very likely that the employer won't ever let you work from home. So it's your decision - will you all refuse, and are you prepared to fight until you win?

    Keep your arguments about you. Please accept this as no criticism of you, or lack of sympathy with your clients, but your job is to deliver the service the employer determines suitable. So that isn't your fight. There must be organisations that do represent the client groups. Let them fight that battle- and you stay well out of it, because it could very easily provide the employer with leverage to discipline you.

    You don't happen to be in a northern city on the east of the Pennines, do you? I ask because I happen to know a certain Council relocation that sounds very much what you describe here.
    Originally posted by sangie595
    We don't want to stop it, but we want to be given trust and flexibility to carry out our roles appropriately, not forced into teams and unable to see other colleagues who we co-work with on specific cases. We want to ensure we have appropriate equipment to do our jobs and to ensure our clients still receive the same service as before. We work in a statutory/legal service so there's no other provider that can do our work for the most part.

    They are saying we can work from satellite offices however can't tell us where these offices are, which leads us to believe they don't exist as they've closed most of the satellite offices already, so in effect we ARE being forced to work from home in a way as there's nowhere else for us to go. Okay we might be out doing visits part of the time but as you say there will be an impact on our bills etc. The money we save on commuting will help a little with the increase in bills I suppose. I feel there are some personal benefits to working from home (saving a massive amount of time commuting for example) but we can't get answers to basic questions such as insurance, desk assessments etc, and we start this in less than 6 weeks!

    I'm actually down south, but I'm aware it's going on in various locations. I know of other councils where it's worked well but they were more flexible in their approach.

    I want to raise it with managers but am worried about their response and any potential repercussions.
    http://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/showthread.php?t=5124473 - my original diary
    843/1000 EF 500 saved for household jobs
    Debt free and in the black for the first time in 11 years
    • lcc86
    • By lcc86 23rd Jul 18, 10:00 PM
    • 1,010 Posts
    • 3,148 Thanks
    lcc86
    • #8
    • 23rd Jul 18, 10:00 PM
    • #8
    • 23rd Jul 18, 10:00 PM
    Sounds like a nightmare, is no one in a union at all?
    Originally posted by GlasweJen
    Unfortunately not, some are members of professional bodies, including myself but unfortunately my professional body is on the verge of closing due to funding issues and can't assist.
    http://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/showthread.php?t=5124473 - my original diary
    843/1000 EF 500 saved for household jobs
    Debt free and in the black for the first time in 11 years
    • lcc86
    • By lcc86 23rd Jul 18, 10:02 PM
    • 1,010 Posts
    • 3,148 Thanks
    lcc86
    • #9
    • 23rd Jul 18, 10:02 PM
    • #9
    • 23rd Jul 18, 10:02 PM
    Don't think these are sex workers, but you never know...

    Your insurer most certainly will need to know about this. There may also be issues where those living in leasehold flats and/or rented property are not permitted to carry out any sort of business from home, even just clerical work.

    GDPR is going to be a major issue if you are communicating by e-mail...
    Originally posted by Brynsam


    Don't even get me started on GDPR

    I read something online which said our employer's own insurance might cover home working, however when I asked I was told they weren't sure! I'm sure you can appreciate the frustration of your own employer deciding to implement this sort of thing but seemingly not knowing what the implications are for employees. I suppose what I'm trying to say is I can't believe how much they are winging it!
    Last edited by lcc86; 23-07-2018 at 10:08 PM.
    http://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/showthread.php?t=5124473 - my original diary
    843/1000 EF 500 saved for household jobs
    Debt free and in the black for the first time in 11 years
    • Tealblue
    • By Tealblue 23rd Jul 18, 10:16 PM
    • 760 Posts
    • 1,094 Thanks
    Tealblue


    I read something online which said our employer's own insurance might cover home working, however when I asked I was told they weren't sure!
    Originally posted by lcc86
    You still need to tell your own insurer.
    • lcc86
    • By lcc86 23rd Jul 18, 10:32 PM
    • 1,010 Posts
    • 3,148 Thanks
    lcc86
    You still need to tell your own insurer.
    Originally posted by Tealblue
    Yeah I've been doing some reading on this. And having somewhere secure to store any work items e.g. Laptop... I just find it mind boggling that we are told this is what we're doing but given no guidance, yet if my house was burgled and my work laptop stolen I'd be the first in the firing line for not having the right cover! Surely we're entitled to this sort of basic information beforehand?!

    As a team we drafted a list of our concerns again a few weeks ago, most of which had been voiced verbally in meetings etc already. I sent them to the team in charge of the change but got no response so I think tomorrow I'll send it directly to management and ask for a response ASAP.
    http://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/showthread.php?t=5124473 - my original diary
    843/1000 EF 500 saved for household jobs
    Debt free and in the black for the first time in 11 years
    • sangie595
    • By sangie595 23rd Jul 18, 10:59 PM
    • 5,054 Posts
    • 8,656 Thanks
    sangie595
    We don't want to stop it, but we want to be given trust and flexibility to carry out our roles appropriately, not forced into teams and unable to see other colleagues who we co-work with on specific cases. We want to ensure we have appropriate equipment to do our jobs and to ensure our clients still receive the same service as before. We work in a statutory/legal service so there's no other provider that can do our work for the most part.

    They are saying we can work from satellite offices however can't tell us where these offices are, which leads us to believe they don't exist as they've closed most of the satellite offices already, so in effect we ARE being forced to work from home in a way as there's nowhere else for us to go. Okay we might be out doing visits part of the time but as you say there will be an impact on our bills etc. The money we save on commuting will help a little with the increase in bills I suppose. I feel there are some personal benefits to working from home (saving a massive amount of time commuting for example) but we can't get answers to basic questions such as insurance, desk assessments etc, and we start this in less than 6 weeks!

    I'm actually down south, but I'm aware it's going on in various locations. I know of other councils where it's worked well but they were more flexible in their approach.

    I want to raise it with managers but am worried about their response and any potential repercussions.
    Originally posted by lcc86
    In that case I think you are right - worry about the repercussions. The thing is, there no half way house. In most, but not all, these situations it seems that trust and flexibility go out of the window. Yes, there are advantages to working from home (I have loads of home working, so I'm a huge fan). But the disadvantages are huge too, and I'm not seeing the counterbalance in what you are saying. If this is happening in six weeks, then it is well beyond negotiation - any concessions now will be minor. The decisions are made and there's no going back on them. So what you want simply isn't going to happen and it's unrealistic to expect it to. This won't be resolved by talking. You fight - collectively - or you shut up, put your heads down, and do as you are told. Personally I'm not advocating the latter. However it needs to be all in or not.

    I am going to say it just one more time. You ARE NOT being forced to work from home. Your employer cannot make you do that. It is your home. The employer has NO control over it. Where there is for you to go is your employers problem. You turn up at work, and they must find you a location to work from, and if they don't have one they send you home on full pay because they are unable to provide the working environment required. But the minute that you work from home once, you've concurred with the arrangement.

    I do appreciate that you think this working arrangement won't work. That you want to work with your colleagues. Etc. Etc. I understand why. I get it. But... That is not your call. Right or wrong, it's the employers call. You've said what you think. They've ignored you. They have every right to do so. That's not me siding with them - it's just the plain truth. They don't have to listen to a thing toy say, and it sounds like they aren't going to. So you force them to. Or you don't.
    • lcc86
    • By lcc86 24th Jul 18, 7:13 AM
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    • 3,148 Thanks
    lcc86
    In that case I think you are right - worry about the repercussions. The thing is, there no half way house. In most, but not all, these situations it seems that trust and flexibility go out of the window. Yes, there are advantages to working from home (I have loads of home working, so I'm a huge fan). But the disadvantages are huge too, and I'm not seeing the counterbalance in what you are saying. If this is happening in six weeks, then it is well beyond negotiation - any concessions now will be minor. The decisions are made and there's no going back on them. So what you want simply isn't going to happen and it's unrealistic to expect it to. This won't be resolved by talking. You fight - collectively - or you shut up, put your heads down, and do as you are told. Personally I'm not advocating the latter. However it needs to be all in or not.

    I am going to say it just one more time. You ARE NOT being forced to work from home. Your employer cannot make you do that. It is your home. The employer has NO control over it. Where there is for you to go is your employers problem. You turn up at work, and they must find you a location to work from, and if they don't have one they send you home on full pay because they are unable to provide the working environment required. But the minute that you work from home once, you've concurred with the arrangement.

    I do appreciate that you think this working arrangement won't work. That you want to work with your colleagues. Etc. Etc. I understand why. I get it. But... That is not your call. Right or wrong, it's the employers call. You've said what you think. They've ignored you. They have every right to do so. That's not me siding with them - it's just the plain truth. They don't have to listen to a thing toy say, and it sounds like they aren't going to. So you force them to. Or you don't.
    Originally posted by sangie595
    Thank you, I'll see how we get on with some form of collective action this week. I think where we've gone wrong is when we've had no response/an unacceptable response to our concerns and it's worn down morale so we haven't done anything about it, which really needs to change. Most of us accept it's happening and there is no plan B per se as far as the employer is concerned, but nobody has told us our rights or indeed our obligations. Fingers crossed we can get somewhere this week!
    http://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/showthread.php?t=5124473 - my original diary
    843/1000 EF 500 saved for household jobs
    Debt free and in the black for the first time in 11 years
    • getmore4less
    • By getmore4less 24th Jul 18, 8:05 AM
    • 32,647 Posts
    • 19,641 Thanks
    getmore4less
    We've done that and been told it'll be looked into... This is an answer we seem to get a lot, which roughly translates to me as "oh sh*t we haven't thought about that".

    As far as I'm aware it's not contracted externally, there is a team in charge of the change but even they don't seem to know what's going on. It's to help save money, which I completely understand given the climate we're in, but it's being done inflexibly and with no thought of the impact.
    Originally posted by lcc86
    I meant the job you are doing

    are you contracted to do that by/for someone else?

    Ie. is there an organisation above yours that ultimately is responsible for service delivery and have specified the scope of the service.
    • sangie595
    • By sangie595 24th Jul 18, 10:01 AM
    • 5,054 Posts
    • 8,656 Thanks
    sangie595
    Thank you, I'll see how we get on with some form of collective action this week. I think where we've gone wrong is when we've had no response/an unacceptable response to our concerns and it's worn down morale so we haven't done anything about it, which really needs to change. Most of us accept it's happening and there is no plan B per se as far as the employer is concerned, but nobody has told us our rights or indeed our obligations. Fingers crossed we can get somewhere this week!
    Originally posted by lcc86
    I try not to say this too often because I'm biased. Nobody has told you your rights or obligations? And you were expecting your employer to tell you what your rights are??!! I've got to assume that you're all reasonably intelligent adults... Telling you what your rights are is the unions job. Since none of you joined, not having that information is your fault - it was down to you to know your rights if you aren't willing to pay for someone else to to know them for you.

    It beggars belief how often people here seem to imagine that the employer or their HR department are responsible for "looking after them" and telling them their rights. The only rights any employer is interested in is their own, and the HR department that the employer pays for is there to serve that function - to look after the employers interests.

    It is too late now this time around. But if have to say that I hope all of you have learned your lesson. Unions are imperfect. They are only as strong as their members. And they cannot prevent an employer from doing something lawful (although their members can - it's called industrial action!). But they are the only people who are interested in your rights, or on your side.

    At the risk of being banned (again) by the Forum Team, sites like this are rubbish when it comes to employment. In the best case scenario, one or two posters will know what they are talking about really well. But even they can make mistakes - it's impossible to know or remember everything, and they are posting advice based on brief and highly subjective information. There are also an awful lot of self appointed "experts" who actually post totally wrong information and claim it's the law. And in the middle there's a lot of people who know some things very well and other things not at all. In other words, it's a lottery. You may as well stand on a street corner and ask passers by what your rights are - you'll get as reliable an answer as you will here!

    If your are content to play Russian roulette with your job, then fine. If you aren't, you need to join a union.
    • lcc86
    • By lcc86 24th Jul 18, 10:18 AM
    • 1,010 Posts
    • 3,148 Thanks
    lcc86
    I meant the job you are doing

    are you contracted to do that by/for someone else?

    Ie. is there an organisation above yours that ultimately is responsible for service delivery and have specified the scope of the service.
    Originally posted by getmore4less


    Sorry no we are employed directly by the council, apologies for the mix up.
    http://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/showthread.php?t=5124473 - my original diary
    843/1000 EF 500 saved for household jobs
    Debt free and in the black for the first time in 11 years
    • lcc86
    • By lcc86 24th Jul 18, 10:19 AM
    • 1,010 Posts
    • 3,148 Thanks
    lcc86
    I try not to say this too often because I'm biased. Nobody has told you your rights or obligations? And you were expecting your employer to tell you what your rights are??!! I've got to assume that you're all reasonably intelligent adults... Telling you what your rights are is the unions job. Since none of you joined, not having that information is your fault - it was down to you to know your rights if you aren't willing to pay for someone else to to know them for you.

    It beggars belief how often people here seem to imagine that the employer or their HR department are responsible for "looking after them" and telling them their rights. The only rights any employer is interested in is their own, and the HR department that the employer pays for is there to serve that function - to look after the employers interests.

    It is too late now this time around. But if have to say that I hope all of you have learned your lesson. Unions are imperfect. They are only as strong as their members. And they cannot prevent an employer from doing something lawful (although their members can - it's called industrial action!). But they are the only people who are interested in your rights, or on your side.

    At the risk of being banned (again) by the Forum Team, sites like this are rubbish when it comes to employment. In the best case scenario, one or two posters will know what they are talking about really well. But even they can make mistakes - it's impossible to know or remember everything, and they are posting advice based on brief and highly subjective information. There are also an awful lot of self appointed "experts" who actually post totally wrong information and claim it's the law. And in the middle there's a lot of people who know some things very well and other things not at all. In other words, it's a lottery. You may as well stand on a street corner and ask passers by what your rights are - you'll get as reliable an answer as you will here!

    If your are content to play Russian roulette with your job, then fine. If you aren't, you need to join a union.
    Originally posted by sangie595


    I completely understand your point and it is an error on our part that we've coasted along as we have. We were told we'd be consulted and involved at every step, so I guess we were nave to believe that. Lesson learned, action being taken.
    http://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/showthread.php?t=5124473 - my original diary
    843/1000 EF 500 saved for household jobs
    Debt free and in the black for the first time in 11 years
    • lcc86
    • By lcc86 7th Aug 18, 5:15 PM
    • 1,010 Posts
    • 3,148 Thanks
    lcc86
    Just to update on this, we banded together and gave management a full list of our concerns, which they addressed as fully as possible last week (they don't know some of the answers but are trying to find out).


    Nevertheless, the changes will make it quite hard for us to do our jobs, and four people have left in recent weeks. Morale is understandably quite low, and I too am open to looking elsewhere.


    On the plus side, our managers listened to us and did the best they could in the circumstances. Some of the answers are far from ideal and aren't going to work in reality, but they are in a similar boat to us in some respects in that they have no control over the changes either.
    http://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/showthread.php?t=5124473 - my original diary
    843/1000 EF 500 saved for household jobs
    Debt free and in the black for the first time in 11 years
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