Wednesday 13 January 2021 5:50 pm

City workers urged to complain if forced into the office

The City of London Corporation has called on workers to complain if they are being pressured into coming into work during England’s third national lockdown.

The Corporation has urged Square Mile workers to file an anonymous complaint if their employers are forcing to break lockdown rules, which state that everyone must stay at home unless “absolutely necessary”.

Read more: Matt Hancock calls on more businesses to ban those not wearing face coverings

“No one should be travelling into work unless it is absolutely necessary, and those that do should think carefully about whether they truly need to be at their workplace,” said Keith Bottomley, chair of the City’s port health and environment committee.

“If your employer is pressuring you to go into work when you don’t need to, please do speak out.”

Businesses breaching lockdown restrictions are eligible for fines worth a minimum of £1,000 for the first offence, rising to £10,000 for repeat offences.

City of London Police said they have so far issued more than 50 fines relating to breaches of Covid-19 restrictions in the Square Mile.

It comes after newly-appointed business secretary Kwasi Kwarteng yesterday urged employers to take “every possible step” to help employees work from home during the pandemic.

Read more: Exclusive: Pimlico Plumbers plots ‘no jab, no job’ policy

His comments came after City A.M. revealed some firms have at points offered staff unpaid leave as an alternative to returning to the office.

Kwarteng said: “The law is clear that you may only leave your home for work if you cannot reasonably work from home. The overwhelming majority of businesses are doing the right thing, but we need all employers to act responsibly and take every possible step to help their employees work from home. 

“Each and every one of us has a role to play in protecting our NHS and saving lives.”

On Monday City A.M. revealed the chief executive of AIM-listed infrastructure facility provider Infrastrata had sent an email to colleagues that threatened them with unpaid leave if they chose not to come to the office during the November lockdown.  

Read more: Exclusive: Shipping boss threatened staff with unpaid leave if they worked from home during lockdown

Meanwhile some Ted Baker staff the business described as “critical” were offered unpaid leave, among other options, if they did not feel comfortable returning to the office just yet.

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