Who has to go to work during corona?

“I have been forced to go to work in a nonessential building,”

:cry: reading this made me think of all the ppls who still commute daily to make ends meet

The 37-year-old has worked through the pandemic. Anna says she cleans an office building in London which is open but nearly empty, as most staff are working from home.

It’s a job the Ecuadorean native has done for five years, after moving to the UK from Spain in 2013 while looking for work. CNN is not disclosing Anna’s real name as she fears repercussions from her employer.

Anna’s employer insisted that she continue to clean the building during the pandemic but cut her hours from five a day to four. She earns £10.75 ($14.77) per hour.

“I have been forced to go to work in a nonessential building,” she told CNN. “There is no one at work, I’m alone.”

Last month Anna caught Covid-19. She’s unsure where she picked it up from but said it was likely “on the bus or on the Underground.” She lives in south London in a shared house and says that at first the virus left her exhausted.

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I wonder if there would be any recourse for her as she was forced to work in a nonessential building.

I can see the no win no fee lawyers trying to cash on stuff like this after the pandemic is over.

“Were you forced to work during the pandemic even though you weren’t a key worker then call lawyers 4 someone on 0800 000 000 as you could be entitled to a cash payout”


Some of our guys who work on “essential client projects” do have to go in (i work for consultancy).
Those “essential client projects” are more like “essential government projects” though. Often with NHS or similar.

I wouldn’t imagine its more than 5%. This however means that admin stuff also needs to come in (i.e. security, cleaners etc)

The problem is that the hurdles and repercussions of suing your employer are much too high for most to consider doing it. Especially as an immigrant.

After that you will probably be blacklisted. I’ve seen companies do many illegal things but never are they challenged about it sadly.

I’ve only been to the office twice in the last year, but each time the cleaning personnel was there doing work for an empty office.

I work in an industry (lets just describe it as “wildlife conservation”) where my job is classed as “essential”. I have had only 7 days off since March 2020. I have not been paid any extra, and I would not want to. I enjoy my job, actual lives depend on me turning up every day.

I must admit though it has been hard, and I’m looking forward to getting a holiday later on in the year.


with so many ppls not wearing masks on buses, it looks like commutin to work now can be deadly… i dont understand office-first “white collar” companies, if facebook and Google can pull this off whats with the trust issue at companies that cant… ((yea they still send ppl to check on those datacentres))

Possibly, and I hope they do. In this lockdown there absolutely are more people going into work, despite managing to work from home in the previous one. That’s companies dragging them in to ‘covid compliant’ work-spaces, for whatever reason.

In this lady’s case though, it would be fairly trivial to defend against her accusations; Firstly, the building isn’t empty of staff, therefore as a cleaner, her job is essential especially in a pandemic to maintain the safety of the office-space via her cleaning/disinfecting.

Any arguments beyond that (i.e. the office shouldn’t have opened for other staff) becomes messy IMO.

Oh that’s easy. Managers, stuck in their ways. You know the type of managers who think if you work from home you’re not actually doing any work.

Let’s be honest, 99% of these companies wouldn’t have sanctioned WFH before the pandemic and only some of them have recognised that it saves them money (rents) and doesn’t impact much on work productivity.

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I agree with the comment above that if the building is in use then the lady’s job becomes more important due to the pandemic. The question would be whether that building should be open at all?

Having the option of working from home is a very middle class problem imo. This pandemic has highlighted the importance of certain roles which are often overlooked or looked down upon in normal times.
I work for a supermarket and deal with online orders for delivery. We’ve had Christmas levels of demand since March last year and there are no signs that things will let up anytime soon. This has meant that I’m actually going into work more now during covid than I did prior to the pandemic.

The same goes for my wife who is a nurse in a residential care home for the elderly. Those guys are right on the coal face and also have to work more hours due to colleagues testing positive and having to isolate plus increased workload of testing, isolation etc.


this is s***

“Thomas said he and other staff tried unsuccessfully to escalate their concerns. “The HR people said line managers would need to be consulted, and then they’d need to go through the ops manager, and so on. There wasn’t a lot of transparency or accountability.””

Fortunately I have been able able to conduct my work from home through Skype, Teams, Zoom and other online platforms. However, my other half has had to go into the office as its a small business they don’t have the facilities to work from home which does seem quite outdated but heyho its not my business.

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While I’m in total agreement with making sure that if you do need to go into your workplace to do your job, it must be as ‘safe’ as it can be, working from home is not some marvellous Shangri-La. Even if you do have all the tech at your disposal with fibre internet and a tricked out desk set up (so many do not) it’s far from ideal from work place culture, productivity and burnout perspectives. The lack of separation of work and personal becomes more essential but even harder to achieve, especially if you’re caring for someone or have children to look after. Add to that a layer of perpetual uncertainty and rolling restrictions…

My view is that the future of work isn’t one or the other but a hybrid of both. It’s too facile to say the office is dead in the absence of solutions to the culture, productivity and compartmentalisation of work and personal lives challenges.

The rumblings we’ve been hearing from seniors in my firm is that we’re not expecting to be back in the office this year based on the latest thinking. The restrictions on travel had been the biggest cause for concern for us as a firm as the majority of our clients are in Africa and South Asia, which presents new challenges when tackling due diligence, but so far, touch wood, so good - we’ve managed to close a number of deals that would have been unthinkable - having not carried out in person due dil.

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