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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 65036
Experience:  Qualified Employment Solicitor
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I am an optometrist and my employer rang and told me I was

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Hi I am an optometrist and my employer rang and told me I was being put on furlough yesterday. On the letter she emailed me to sign she has put the date it starts as Monday 23rd march. I worked in store on Monday and then she told me not to go in on Tuesday as she wasn't sure the shopping centre our store is in would be open (it was).
JA: Have you discussed this with a manager or HR? Or with a lawyer?
Customer: So my question is what date does she have to put on the letter...yesterday as that is the day she informed us? I don't want to sign it and lose days full pay. Thanks
JA: What is your employment status? Are you an employee, freelancer, consultant or contractor? Do you belong to a union?
Customer: I am employed by the company. I am a member of the association of optometrists. I have tried contacting them for advice, but they are obviously busy with the current situation so I haven't heard back yet.
JA: Anything else you want the Lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: No that it is at the moment. Thanks

Hello, I’m Ben, a UK lawyer and will be dealing with your case today. I may also need to ask some questions to determine the legal position.

Can I just check, how long have you worked for your employer?

Customer: replied 15 days ago.
Hello Ben, I've been an employee there since August 2018 and before that I worked there as a self employed regular Locum for about 2 years.

Thank you. I will get back to you with my answer as soon as I can, which will be at some point today. The system will notify you when this happens. Please do not reply in the meantime as this may unnecessarily delay my response. Many thanks.

Many thanks for your patience. The Government scheme will allow employers to backdate any claims for furloughed employees back to 1 March so if there are days when you were asked not to come in to work and did not receive any pay you can ask the employer to include these in their claim – it costs them nothing to do so. I therefore suggest you make it clear to the employer that you expect them to include all days this week when you were not asked to go in to work as that is what the scheme was intended for and it is basically free money from the employer’s perspective so it makes no difference to them, but makes a great difference to you.


Does this answer your query?

Customer: replied 15 days ago.
Thanks for this. It doesn't answer it completely though. So I understand from that she has to pay me in full for Monday. As an optical practice we are classed as essential, so we didn't have to close on Tuesday, that was her choice. Does she have to pay me in full for Tuesday (with the amount I earn I won't receive 80%).

Does your contract say you can be laid off unpaid if needed?

Customer: replied 15 days ago.
No I can't find that in my contract.

Ok in that case you are due normal pay for that day, otherwise it would be a breach of contract, however the employer can include it in the furlough if they so choose – so it is a case of either including it in the furlough and getting part of your pay, or not including it and then getting normal pay – it is up to them. Does this clarify things a bit more for you?

Customer: replied 15 days ago.
Ok yes thanks so much for your help and advice. I really appreciate it.

All the best

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