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nhyess

Impossible Work Situation Covid-9

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Hi, I realise that everyone is making it up as we go along due to the uncertainty even the government; however I wanted a second opinion on my situation just to check I'm not throwing "an Elton John hissyfit" about it please:

 

I work as a sub-contractor to the NHS, I and my fellow drivers move between the sensitive restricted areas of up to 30 hospitals in London every day delivering critical equipment. We had a meeting with senior management yesterday to throw light on this Covid-9 situation. Usual corporate platitudes and smiling faces/dead eyes BS. When it came to our turn to ask questions we asked what we should do if we felt we needed to self-isolate, would we still be paid, or could we be "furloughed" for the next few months?

 

No. If we think we are ill, or must care for a family member who is, then we must self-isolate and claim the SSP of £94pw because if you can't work your shift you won't get paid.

We are family men, we cannot afford to live on £94pw, so when we said you are basically forcing us to turn up sick and drive around the most vulnerable places in hospitals because the alternative is starvation and debt..?

 

"So be it, it's company policy. We are not changing company policy. We will not furlough you to get the 80% govt, wage either"

 

So there you go! When asked what PPE we could expect? 

 

None. Use the van wet-wipes and hand sanitizer.

 

Both are empty and they haven't ordered any more due to suppliers running out!

 

Nice! Hope to see you and your vulnerable relatives REAL soon as I pass you on the wards!

 

Any advice on what I can do about this. I thought about "whistleblowing to the NHS" but I'll lose my job for gross misconduct long before anything happens in the bloated beast.

 

I'm trying to sound light-hearted with my post, but if you actually saw what I, and my fellow drivers were doing each day, you would be truly scared. However, £94 SSP is not an option despite many of us already showing symptoms.

 

Help.

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Please would you send an email in confidence to our admin email address and some contact details. Completely in confidence – don't worry


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No I'm sorry, I'm not comfortable doing that. This is a social media forum. I've no idea who you are. I don't mean any disrespect by that, but it's already in hand with Guardian who have encrypted sophisticated "whistleblowing" software embedded in their site.

 

A friend recommended me this site as being the best "amateur" advice available, so I was hoping I could get some opinions on options I might not have thought of, as I know nothing about employment law.

 

Basically, I'm not going to put patients at risk so I'd rather live on £94 SSP if it came to it, than say to much, get sacked for gross misconduct and have to live on JSA £74 with bad reference!!!!

 

Trust you understand mate.

 

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Are you in a union, and do they have a health and safety rep?

Have you asked for the current risk assessment for your job?


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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None of us are in a union unfortunately, and I've read around enough to realise that we left it too late to join "in the middle" of this.

 

We are all good people, we want to do the best we can for the hospitals we serve, but we cannot self-isolate for £94 and not have massive long term detriment to our loved ones. It's a tough call. I'm just looking for advice on how to morally handle it.

 

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(RE: have I asked for a current risk assessment of the job) - you are surely worldy-wise enough to know where that will get me?

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3 minutes ago, nhyess said:

(RE: have I asked for a current risk assessment of the job) - you are surely worldy-wise enough to know where that will get me?

 

I very much doubt your situation will change. I have no magic way of making bosses more reasonable. 

 

If, however, you want to take action after the event, you need to have jumped through the hoops. And sometimes the knowledge that you are going through the hoops can make them *a little* more reasonable. Such as, submitting a formal, written grievance, when there is no risk assessment in place.


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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Ah, apologies, my misunderstanding. There is and has been a risk assessment in place, especially due to our status as working in sensitive areas of the NHS. It has not been reviewed in light of the Covid crisis. (But that's almost fair enough as it's only been going on for a few weeks).

 

If I were to ask for a new one, I would get torn a new one.

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2 minutes ago, nhyess said:

Ah, apologies, my misunderstanding. There is and has been a risk assessment in place, especially due to our status as working in sensitive areas of the NHS. It has not been reviewed in light of the Covid crisis. (But that's almost fair enough as it's only been going on for a few weeks).

 

If I were to ask for a new one, I would get torn a new one.

Ok.

 

But nothing will change unless you change. I can't tell you how to make a situation better through inaction.


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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I guess I'm only here really to get opinions on what you would do in my shoes as management aren't listening and I know full-well my options.

Would you continue to travel around the hospitals with no PPE and a bad cough to get roughly £480pw

Would you self-isolate and claim SSP £94pw

Would you take a moral King Arthur swipe at management and end up with no job due to being totally replaceable, and a gross misconduct note on any future reference, meanwhile £74 job seeker's allowance?

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I would do none of the above. Because I want an actual result.

 

I would ask for the new risk assessment, and take it from there. Because that's the only route that a) may make them think and b) starts building my evidence for an unfair or constructive dismissal case later.

 

It is entirely possible to have a conversation which is not a "King Arthur Swipe", whatever that is. I don't believe he fell on his own sword, anyway - did he? I certainly would not commit GMC! Starting with aggression, will get you aggression back. Joint problem solving tends to work better.

 

 


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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Posted (edited)

Thanks Emmzi, you've clearly never been in a minimum wage position to understand the difference between what "should" happen, and what does actually happen in real life!! 

I can see that coming through with your well-meaning responses to other posts on this site. So, I thank you for your response. I'll take it under advisement. 

(PS, my king arthur reference was about being an honorable man who does the right thing. In the real world the little man gets stiffed for such antiquated notions.)

Does anyone else here have any hands-on immediate useful advice please? 

I can't leave my job tomorrow on what "should happen" because someone on the internet said it.

 

Edited by nhyess

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I don't think there's much else to say


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Got this very nice email from @nhyess

 

Quote

image.thumb.png.0d83a4f4ae6dc75122f485afe3198440.png

 

What I don't understand is how does he know all this personal information about me? How on earth did he find out – has someone been gossiping again?

This kind of information is meant to be confidential.

 


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