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    • March 23: As the coronavirus crisis escalates, the UK is placed into lockdown with strict limitations on travel. The Government guidelines state: “You should not be visiting family members who do not live in your home.” The prime minister tells the UK public they "must stay at home". People are warned not to meet friends or family members they do not live with. Those with symptoms had already been told to self-isolate     Friday 27 March: Downing Street On the day Cummings ran out of No 10, his wife, Mary Wakefield, appears to have been already ill, according to her Spectator article about the experience, in which she says: “My husband did rush home to look after me.”   Both Boris Johnson and Health Secretary Matt Hancock test positive for coronavirus, while chief medical officer Chris Whitty says he has symptoms of the disease and is self-isolating.   Mr Cummings said: "I suddenly got a call from my wife who was looking after our four-year-old child. She told me she suddenly felt badly ill." He went home and after a couple of hours his wife felt better and he returned to work. "There were many critical things at work and she asked me to return [to work] in the afternoon and I did." He then "drove up to Durham that night arriving at roughly midnight" with his family.     In spectator articles on 24th and 25th April * Wakefield (wife) wrote in the spectator that Cummings said “I feel weird” and collapsed 24 hours after he came home to look after her * She went on to explain that for the next 10 days “Dom couldn’t get out of bed. Day in, day out for ten days he lay doggo with a high fever and spasms that made the muscles lump and twitch in his legs.” * Cummings wrote that “at the end of March and for the first two weeks of April I was ill, so we were both shut in together.” * The following days, by Wakefield’s account, were a mixture of family idyll and health nightmare, as she made a “palace out of polystyrene packaging” with their son … even as Cummings’s breathing got so bad that she feared he should be in hospital. But 10 days after her husband first fell ill, she said, he began to feel better – just as Boris Johnson went into hospital. That would place the improvement in his condition around Sunday 5 April,     Sat March 28th Is apparently the day Cummings said “I feel weird” and collapsed 24 hours after he came home to look after her His wife went on to explain that for the next 10 days “Dom couldn’t get out of bed. Day in, day out for ten days he lay doggo with a high fever and spasms that made the muscles lump and twitch in his legs.” Cummings wrote that “at the end of March and for the first two weeks of April I was ill, so we were both shut in together.” 10 days from March 28th – would take us to the 7th April.   Mon March 30: Downing Street confirms Mr Cummings is suffering from coronavirus symptoms and is self-isolating.   Tuesday 31 March/1st April: Durham The police have said that on 31 March they were “made aware of reports” of Cummings’s presence in the area and had then contacted the family to “reiterate the appropriate advice around essential travel”.   2 April: During the night, Mr Cummings' four-year-old son "threw up and had a bad fever". Following medical advice, an ambulance took the child to hospital. He was accompanied by Mr Cummings' wife   3 April: Mr Cummings' son spent the night in hospital and woke up the next day having "recovered". He was tested for coronavirus and his mother, who was with him at the hospital, was told "they should return home". According to Mr Cummings, there were no taxis so he "drove to the hospital, picked him up and returned home". He said he "did not leave the car or have any contact with anybody on this short trip".   Sunday 5 April: The ‘Abba’ sighting (despite claims of ten days where he couldn’t get up with a high fever) Cummings alledgedly seen in Garden with AbbA blaring But 10 days after her husband first fell ill, she said, he began to feel better – just as Boris Johnson went into hospital. Which would place the improvement in his condition around Sunday 5 April, … Although the claimed 10 days after the 28th – the earliest point at which Cummings was said to have been symptomatic – would be the 7 April. The Guardian approaches Downing Street about the story, only to be told by a spokesman: “It will be a no comment on that one.” Mr Cummings said "after I started to recover, one day in the second week, I tried to walk outside the house". He confirmed he, his wife and his son went for a walk into woods owned by his father and it was at this point he was seen by passers-by but his family "had no interaction with them". The exact date is not clear but his second week isolating in Durham would have between 4-11th   6 April: At some point in the week leading up to this date, Mr Cummings discussed his decision to travel to Durham with the prime minister. "When we were both sick and in bed," he said, "I mentioned to him what I had done. Unsurprisingly given the condition we were in, neither of us remember the conversation in any detail."   Fri April 10: Number 10 is again contacted for comment regarding Mr Cumming’s trip by the Guardian. Instead of defending the journey, officials declined to comment.   Fri 10th/Sat 11th April: The 14-day period of Cummings’s isolation would have expired on 10/11th April, assuming it is counted from when Wakefield appears to have first fallen ill on 27 March or when Cummings fell ill 24 hours later.   11 April: Believing he had recovered by this date, albeit "feeling weak and exhausted", Mr Cummings said he "sought expert medical advice". "I explained our family's symptoms and all the timings and asked if it was safe to return to work on Monday or Tuesday, seek childcare and so on. I was told that it was safe and I could return to work"   Sunday 12 April: Barnard Castle Wakefield’s birthday, according to Companies House records – they allegedly made a trip to Barnard Castle, a charming town 30 miles from the Cummings’s family property, described on the English Heritage website as having “fantastic views” and “plenty to do for families on a day out”. That detail emerged in an interview with Robin Lees, a retired chemistry teacher who lives in the town. Lees, who says he has a photographic memory, told the Guardian he was “a bit gobsmacked” to see Cummings, and then was so incensed that he made a note of the family car’s numberplate and checked it online when he got home. Cummings acknowledges he drove to Barnard Castle, 30 miles from his parents' home in Durham, with his wife and child. He explained this episode as needing to test his driving was fine before making the long drive back to London. He said he'd been having problems with his vision   Tuesday 14 April: London The Guardian asked Wakefield to confirm whether the family had been in London throughout the lockdown period, but received no reply. Cummings was photographed back in Downing Street on 14 April   Sunday 19 April: ‘bluebell’ woods - Cummings and Wakefield in Houghall woods? Could Cummings have then gone back to the north-east from London? Downing Street is emphatic that he did not. The denial came after another witness claimed to the Guardian and Sunday Mirror that they had seen Cummings and Wakefield on a country walk in Houghall Woods, a beauty spot near his parents’ property in Durham. According to this account, Cummings said: “Aren’t the bluebells lovely?” Cummings says he did not return to Durham   Monday 20 April Cummings seen in London again   May 23: Downing Street statement: “Owing to his wife being infected with suspected coronavirus and the high likelihood that he would himself become unwell, it was essential for Dominic Cummings to ensure his young child could be properly cared for.” The statement said: “At no stage was he or his family spoken to by the police about this matter, as is being reported. “His actions were in line with coronavirus guidelines. Mr Cummings believes he behaved reasonably and legally.” Speaking outside his home, Mr Cummings reiterated: “I behaved reasonably and legally”. When a reporter suggested to him that his actions did not look good, he replied: “Who cares about good looks? “It’s a question of doing the right thing. It’s not about what you guys think.” Later at the daily Downing Street briefing, Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said Mr Cummings had the PM’s “full support” and that Mr Johnson “knew that he was unwell and that he was in lockdown”. Mr Shapps said it had always been permissible for families to travel to be closer to their relatives as long as they “go to that location and stay in that location”. Meanwhile, deputy chief medical officer for England, Dr Jenny Harries, said that travelling during lockdown was permissible if “there was an extreme risk to life”, with a “safeguarding clause” attached to all advice to prevent vulnerable people being stuck at home with no support.   Health Secretary Matt Hancock and Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak have tweeted their support for Mr Cummings.   Education Secretary Gavin Williamson said on Monday morning that Mr Cummings had "set out absolutely clearly and absolutely categorically he didn't break the rules and didn't break the law". The attorney general, Suella Braverman, tweet on Saturday in which she quoted the full text of the No 10 statement on Boris Johnson’s chief aide in which the prime minister said he had behaved “responsibly and legally”.   (Disgraceful) Boris Johnson said at the weekend Cummings acted “responsibly and legally and with integrity”   “The PM’s risible defence of Cummings is an insult to all those who have made such sacrifices to ensure the safety of others,” said Johne Inge, the bishop of Worcester, on Twitter.   “What planet are they on?” asked a front page headline in the Daily Mail, an influential right-wing paper usually supportive of Johnson.   https://descrier.co.uk/politics/dominic-cummings-and-wife-tried-to-cover-up-lockdown-breach-in-articles-for-the-spectator/   https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2020/may/24/dominic-cummings-timeline-what-we-know-about-his-movements   https://www.eveningexpress.co.uk/news/uk/timeline-the-coronavirus-lockdown-and-dominic-cummings-trip-to-durham/   https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-52784290   https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2020/may/25/attorney-general-faces-calls-to-resign-defends-dominic-cummings-suella-braverman   https://uk.reuters.com/article/uk-health-coronavirus-britain-cummings/what-planet-are-they-on-no-respite-for-johnson-and-aide-idUKKBN2310UE   https://cyprus-mail.com/2020/05/25/what-plant-are-they-on-press-slams-johnson-and-cummings/
    • simply tell them on the phone writing only sorry as I might want to escalate this to the fos or court. sorry but no speaky..speaky   you night find this interesting?   https://www.theguardian.com/money/2012/jun/09/life-insurance-misselling-aviva-hamilton-life   dx
    • I've had a few missed calls and then text from RBS wanting to talk about the letter I sent, two posts up.    Am I best to wait for them to write? Didn't really want to get into a discussion with them about it ideally!
    • I haven’t even looked.  I doubt some PR bod would have been in the loop.
    • Gove will be rubbing his little hands together in glee. He been quite careful in his limited wording in 'supporting demonic. but he poo'd his own pot a bit with that priority preferential test   No confidence vote (in PM not party).
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A friend of mine is a carer but she may be handing in her notice today but this is one (of many) areas I have little to no experience in so any help would be gratefully accepted.

 

This lady is on £7.35 per hour. She only gets paid for the time she spends at the clients home, no travel time is paid.

She has to be at her first client around 6:00 who lives 15 minutes away and during the day she has times where she is not needed so has 2-3 hours off each day however she also does the night run, getting her clients into bed. She doesn't normally get home until 10:30-11:00 and then up again at 05:00 to start this all over again. Surely there must be some breach of law there.

 

Her wage slips do not show how many hours she has worked, just a unit rate. The same applies to her mileage allowance.

 

For her mileage allowance, nothing is paid for the first 25 miles and then 12 per mile. She does on average 50 miles a day and tends to work 6 days a week.

 

I already have her permission to act on her behalf so when she does hand in her notice, I will be sending a SAR to the head office of the company she works for. Hopefully they will specify how many miles they have paid for and any other allowances (if any)

 

Is there any way of calculating hours based on mileage? This is a rural area so not much traffic. She has not opted out of the working time regs even though she does more than 48 hours per week. she is on a zero hours contract so she feels that she has to do the work or lose money from losing hours if she objects.


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https://www.gov.uk/rest-breaks-work/overview

 

This says she's entitled to 11 hours rest between working days. I don't know if it's a breach of law if she chose to work these hours.

 

Thanks for that. She doesn't want to do these hours but the company imply that as she is on zero hours, if she doesn't do this, they will give her shifts to others. A form of blackmail if you want.

 

The affect on her physical and mental health is noticeable, even to me who has no idea of what it's like to do her job


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It sounds like the employers using zero hour contracts, can use blackmail as a way to get staff to opt out of basic worker's rights. It all smells a bit to me.

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Is it their own car? 12p is ridiculously low, to the extent HMRC suggest a bicycle is 20p per mile!

 

A car will cost about 17p on fuel especially on short country runs, add on other costs such as service, tyres etc and that is why you should be getting around 45p for every mile. Any less and you can claim tax allowance on the difference.

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Just doing a quick bit of maths

 

300 miles / week, but only getting paid for 150 mile @ £0.12/mile = £18

 

Fuel ~ £1.10/l = £5/ gallon

 

So they get 3.6 G for £18

 

To do 300 miles in 3.6G they need to get 84MPG and that is not going to happen, so they are losing money. Even if they get 40MPG it's costing them £20 per week, which I guarantee the employer will be back charging

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My friend has only recently become aware she can claim some tax back for her mileage. I checked the tax mans website and it seems they allow around 45p per mile so it is possible she could claim some tax back and if so, she would get back in excess of 17k for the time she has worked there.

 

She uses her own car and has to have business cover which the company don't pay for and he has to have personal liability insurance as well which she pays for.

 

What's even more silly is that the uniform she wears, she had to buy but the company will expect her to hand it in when she leaves.


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Never assume anyone on the internet is who they say they are. Only rely on advice from insured professionals you have paid for!

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My friend has only recently become aware she can claim some tax back for her mileage. I checked the tax mans website and it seems they allow around 45p per mile so it is possible she could claim some tax back and if so, she would get back in excess of 17k for the time she has worked there.

 

She uses her own car and has to have business cover which the company don't pay for and he has to have personal liability insurance as well which she pays for.

 

What's even more silly is that the uniform she wears, she had to buy but the company will expect her to hand it in when she leaves.

 

HMRC rate is indeed 45p/mile, but that can only be offset against tax, so the maximum that would be reimbursed by HMRC would be the income tax paid in a given year. The claim would be via a P87 for previous tax years and then register for Self Assessment for the current year onwards. HMRC will adjust the tax code going forwards in recognition of the expenses incurred. She can also offset a fixed amount of £100 for laundry of her work uniform and if she had to buy special unifoirm then this is reclaimable too.

 

Your friend's story is exactly the reason why Mrs Sidewinder switched from being a home care worker to working in a residential home. Zero hours and feeling obliged to accept any work offered, but only getting paid for the job time with nothing for the travel between clients. She was doing around 150 miles a week and not receiving any contribution from the employer, but as she was only working part time her income was insufficient to pay tax - especially after HMRC changed her tax code to allow for the expenses, so she was paying insufficient tax (basically nil) to recover the expenses any further.

 

Travel time was at that time not included as 'working time' but the law is different now. Your friend must be paid at least the NMW for all time from getting to the first call to ending the last providing that the time between calls is not classed as a 'break' and is spent travelling between assignments.

 

The issue of the WTD and rest breaks is a little more cloudy as the law says that the employee must be free to take breaks (ie the employer cannot force the employee to not take adequate rest) and with a ZHC the employee is absolutely free to accept only those jobs which would allow the correct periods of rest in the working day, so it would be through choice that your friend is not taking, for example, the required 11 hours uninterrupted rest between shifts

 

Interesting that insuring her own car for Business use costs more - I have always found it to be pretty much no different.


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Interesting that insuring her own car for Business use costs more - I have always found it to be pretty much no different.

 

I haven't checked out how much extra she pays but when I go on to an insurance website, there are more choices on coverage than a few years back'

 

There is;

Social and domestic

Social, domestic and travel to and from work

As above but also for business use as her car is used a lot during the day (and night) there is more risk of a collision therefore a loaded premium is asked for.

 

Having to purchase her own public liability insurance is silly. She should be covered by her employers but of course, they are after the money, not look after staff. Not one of their carers has anything but a zero hours contract

 

If she were to refuse the night runs, the company will penalise her by not giving her more suitable shifts and giving less hours and she cannot afford to lose hours so she is stuck between the usual rock and hard place. It IS blackmail in all but name.

 

Zero hour contracts should used where employees need that option, not for unscrupulous employers to beat them around the head with it.


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does she pay tax on the travel allowance? If so then they are including it in her pay and not paying it separately. She can claim 40p/mile and should do via her tax return. This nothing for the first 25 miles really menas that she isnt paid a fuel or travel allowance, if she went by bus do they think that the first 3 bus rides are free? Travel allowance should cover fuel and running costs like repairs, insurance etc so 25p-40p is normal.

If it were me I would be asking for a payment to cover the actual costs of supplying her employer with transport OR if she has been taxed on the pitiful allowance claim for the travel time as they are not paying her expenses. Typical of these companies but councils are as much to blame because of how they contract out their responsibilities.

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While I understand they may penalise her hours, she needs to consider / calculate how much she is actually getting for the hours she actually works minus ALL her expenses.

It may be working less and more sociable hours somewhere else may be better.

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