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Experts Explain Whether Your Boss Can Force You Back Into Office

Dominic Smithers

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Experts Explain Whether Your Boss Can Force You Back Into Office

It's been almost two years since the country went into lockdown, with schools, shops, gyms and offices being forced to close until further notice.

And while society has opened up again and public spaces are now almost running as normal, many of us are still working from home.

However, earlier this month, the UK government announced with immediate effect that it was no longer advising people to avoid going into their places of work.

Speaking during a session in the House of Commons on 19 January, Boris Johnson said: "From now on, the government are no longer asking people to work from home.

"People should now speak to their employer about arrangements for returning to the office."

But what does this mean for those of us who don't miss the morning commute and would rather keep things how they are?

Well, according to employment experts, your boss can only order you into the office if it's stipulated in your contract.

Credit: Alamy
Credit: Alamy

Citizens Advice says it's best to speak to your boss and discuss what options you have.

"You can ask to keep working from home, but that doesn't mean your employer has to agree," it says.

"Start by having an open conversation with your employer about your wishes, and consider making a flexible working request." 

The Trade Union Commission said it's better to speak to your colleagues before discussing the matter with your boss.

It said: "If your boss is asking you to return to the workplace or stay at home and you don’t feel comfortable, you should speak to other members and your union rep immediately - they may feel the same about the situation.

"If you raise the issue collectively with your employer, they’re much more likely to listen."

As well as no longer having to work from home, all 'Plan B' restrictions are set to end tomorrow (27 Jan), including wearing face masks anywhere and the use of Covid passes.

Discussing the changes last week, Johnson said: "Face masks will no longer be required in schools, but are still 'suggested' in crowded and enclosed settings such as public transport.

Credit: Alamy
Credit: Alamy

"After looking at the data carefully, the cabinet concluded that, once regulations lapse, the government will no longer mandate the wearing of face masks anywhere.

"From tomorrow (20 Jan), we will no longer require face masks in classrooms, and the Department for Education will shortly remove national guidance on their use in communal areas. 

"In the country at large, we will continue to suggest the use of face coverings in enclosed or crowded spaces – particularly when you come into contact with people you don’t normally meet.

"But we will trust the judgement of the British people, and no longer criminalise anyone who chooses not to wear one."

Featured Image Credit: Alamy

Topics: Coronavirus, UK News, Politics, Boris Johnson

Dominic Smithers
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