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What are your rights if your boss wants you back in the office

Thankfully, as we enter the autumn of 2021 the world is beginning to resemble the place we once knew before coronavirus took over most of our lives.

The past 18 months or so has shaped our lives in many different ways, but one of the biggest changes has been the way that many of us have been able to work from home.

Now though many are wondering what their rights are as many offices re-open for business.

It’s a complex situation for many. Depending on your own particular situation many will relish the chance to get out of the house, but for others they will have enjoyed the upside of working from home and be reluctant to go back to the office for a variety of reasons.

As employment experts in Staines, we get asked many questions surrounding the current climate and here are the answers to a few of them.

Do I have to go back if my office is reopening?
You need to talk to your boss as staff are not automatically allowed flexible working unless it is written into their contract. Also, you need to have worked with them for at least 26 weeks.

It needs a frank discussion as the needs of the business are vital as are the needs of the individual.

Could pay be reduced for home or hybrid working?
It’s possible that new working patterns may have meant you moving to a different part of the country, or even abroad, where the cost of living is cheaper.
You would have to agree salary reductions etc, which cannot be dropped on you by an employer without your consent. Doing so would mean an employer facing a legal challenge.

Can your employer force you to take the covid vaccine?
Here in the UK, the answer is simply no. However, for care home workers this is compulsory from the autumn.

Simply your vaccination status cannot have any bearing on your work status and any employer attempting to remove someone purely due to not taking the vaccine is illegal.

Employers should ensure their workplaces are Covid safe with one-way systems and anyone who is not happy with the working environment can get their local authority to investigate.

What if I am vulnerable or live with someone who is?
It’s dependent on an individual situation, and you really need to show you’ve strong medical grounds and prove it to your employer.

We hope this has proved useful, and if you are an employer or employee needing any employment law help in these challenging times, we at Dale and Newbery are happy to help, contact us today.