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Struggling at work

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  • Tori_Scope
    Tori_Scope Scope Posts: 12,499 Disability Gamechanger
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    Good luck @Rechnin, let's hope it is what you need 

    National Campaigns Officer at Scope, she/her

  • Rechnin
    Rechnin Community member Posts: 89 Courageous
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    @Tori_Scope

    This might be something Scope already knows, but, if not, it might be something that needs to be looked in to as it seems working from home is going to be an increasing option for many going forward, especially those with disabilities.

    Why will my tax code change?
    Why do I need a change my Internet to a business account?
    Why do I need specialized home insurance? (this one might be obvious)
    Why do I need to register my home as my working address?
  • Cher_Alumni
    Cher_Alumni Scope alumni Posts: 5,734 Disability Gamechanger
    edited August 2020
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    @Rechnin
    Are these questions arising from your organisations requirements for you to work from home?  

    In relation to the tax code change, as far as I'm aware it should stay the same.  When working from home you are also entitled to tax relief of up to £6 a week for the additional costs you incur.  For more information on how to access see Claim tax relief for your job expenses - working at home.

     
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  • Geoark
    Geoark Community member Posts: 1,472 Disability Gamechanger
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    Hi @Rechnin

    As @Cher_Scope said in general your tax code would stay the same.

    There are allowances which would change your tax code, usually the letters at the end, which can affect how much you actually receive each pay day. You can find out more at https://www.gov.uk/tax-codes. I would suggest asking your employer to explain in writing why the code would change and what for.

    The internet question is an interesting one, especially as it comes with a premium cost. One of the biggest issues I have come across is the reliability of the service. This includes both down time where there is no access and speed issues. I subscribe to Fibre to the Premises (FTTP) service neither of these have been an issue. While Business accounts generally have much faster speeds say 10GB rather than the max 1GB I could subscribe to, this extra speed is not essential for most people working from home and would likely be overkill. But to give an example, if I swapped from personal to business account with my current supplier my cost would jump from £35 per month to £120 per month for the same speed. The big issue for employers is therefor the reliability of the service. The premium paid is to help ensure the service is up and running the majority of time with minimal disruption. During the time I have been with my current supplier I have not experienced any downtime. It is an interesting question for me because while during this period the company is happy to tolerate the disruption caused by individual internet issues will this continue when it is over?

    Unless your home insurance covers you working from home you would invalidate your policy. During  this period most companies have said that if you have been told to work from home this would not invalidate your policy, however if it is on a more permanent basis then it would. If you are planning to work from home on a more permanent basis you should speak to your insurance company. A lot would depend on what you would be doing but the insurance company would go through these with you and make any necessary suggestions.

    The last question I am not too sure what they are referring to, register with whom? Insurance is one where it would be important to discuss with your supplier your intentions. Another would be your landlord, especially if you are a tenant, but also if you are a leaseholder as there could be a clause in your lease. Even as a freeholder with a mortgage there could be a clause regarding working from home. Whilst leaseholders generally have more protection for a tenant it would likely be considered a serious breach of your tenancy and could result in eviction. I have already spoken to my estate manager regarding this option, and while I would need to make a formal request if the option came up as my work is purely computer based, working for an employer, and no visitors he said it would be possible that I would get a positive outcome.

    There are other issues to consider and I would be happy to list some of them, but as you have not mentioned them I will leave it here for now.

    As an individual I stood alone.
    As a member of a group I did things.
    As part of a community I helped to create change!

  • Rechnin
    Rechnin Community member Posts: 89 Courageous
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    @Cher_Scope
    @Geoark

    Thanks for your help and comments, I have found them really useful and given me things to consider.

    I had actually heard about the Tax Refund for working from home expenses and that it can be back dated to when you initially started working from home.

    As for everything else, i am still waiting for further details and have raised my concerns as to why any of these things are necessary after already been working from home perfectly well for so long, but, still awaiting any response.

    Apparently, I would have to register my home address as my business address but I would still be employed by my ermployer.

    If I need to have pay more tax, have a business internet access, pay for home insurance and the increase in rates that will be encored  for working from home. On the flip side, there is not having to be in that environment, less travel time and reduced transport and meal costs.

    So, I need to weight up if it will be worth it?
  • davegregson40
    davegregson40 Community member Posts: 83 Pioneering
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    Thats a similar situation to what I experienced. Human Resources can be awful bullies, they work for the company, if the manager is bad then they will always support the manager and their own position and whilst they should be they are almost never impartial and very often not competent with little knowledge of employment law or equality legislation.
    I understand Unions reps can differ and most these days have higher workloads but I would always advise anyone to be with a Union. What I would suggest also and this helped me was to keep a record including dates, times, phone calls, conversations and always try and get documentary evidence from your employer/manager. the Equality Advisory Support Service advices specifically on the Equality Act 2010 and they can open a case file which can be useful as evidence if its needed. Medical evidence is also very important, as once you make the employer/manager aware they have to take that into consideration. 
    Its always advisable to follow the internal grievance policy both informally and formally, even if it makes no difference, it is what ACAS advise and it shows that you did everything to try and resolve matters.
    Just remember that not all managers and HR bosses are in their jobs because of their abilities but more like who they are friends with, its not a reflection on you, involve as many outside organisations as possible and please keep in touch here, no one should go through that alone  
  • Rechnin
    Rechnin Community member Posts: 89 Courageous
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    @Cher_Scope
    @Geoark

    Most of the above is fine to some extent as we don't have any insurance at the moment and really need some, the Tax code and home costs, I hope, wont make too much of a difference with what I will be saving on food and travel costs and the advantage of not being in that environment.  The thing that I am really struggle with at the moment is the Internet.

    If I need to get a business account separate to my own internet access that will be two bills I need to pay and will have to commuted to an 12-18 month contract, which is fine if I am still working. With how things are going at this time, will I still be there for that time and what at the end of the contract?

    Its annoying as I have found a Business account with my current supplier for under £30 per month.

    Again, I need some proper details.
  • Rechnin
    Rechnin Community member Posts: 89 Courageous
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    @davegregson40

    I am sorry to hear that you have had a similar experience. ER/HR have been a total farce here at the moment, staff are picked up for every error and every raised word, but, the department hasn't been pulled for the number of staff it has lost only in the last year.

    I have never had a Union which has backed me when it comes to a situation like this, and, due to my nature, I have had a few. They seem more interested in the big issues when they want everyone to come out in support.

    I have kept a record of everything, and asked for a third person to sit in on meetings, but, things are still recorded in a biased away. Even had to as for things to be added back in to meetings records and when i wrote a Grievance it was passed off in two days, even with evidence.

    The bias in my current role is so much, I have my notes ready for the next meeting and we will see what excuses they use.

    Thanks
  • WorldsoldestNEET
    WorldsoldestNEET Posts: 42 Listener
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    I wish I was struggling at work.
  • Ross_Alumni
    Ross_Alumni Scope alumni Posts: 7,650 Disability Gamechanger
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    I'm sure you will find work eventually @WorldsoldestNEET, you will have skills that employers are looking for and that only you can bring. 

    It is their duty to make the recruitment and hiring process accessible for you, and most employers are very accommodating in that regard.

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  • WorldsoldestNEET
    WorldsoldestNEET Posts: 42 Listener
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    I didn't know "Most" ment "Very few"...
  • Rechnin
    Rechnin Community member Posts: 89 Courageous
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    That is the problem, I don't have much issue finding a job, it is keeping it. I am slow, and changes throw me out but people are only interested in stats.
  • Geoark
    Geoark Community member Posts: 1,472 Disability Gamechanger
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    @Rechnin just curious, why do you need both internet accounts? 

    If it is because you are stuck in a current contract, but using the same provider you might find it helpful to talk to them. If it is seen as an upgrade they may well decide to allow you to terminate your personal account without any financial consequence. Especially if it going through the phone line having two accounts could prove to have some technical difficulties, unless you had two separate phone lines coming into your home, not really and extra expense you would want. You should be able to do what you do with your personal internet connection with a business account, unless it is illegal of course.

    Many big employers offer a range of services to their staff. I can access legal, financial and even well being / medical advice which is strictly confidential and not reported back to the employer. I would want to be sure that what they are requesting is reasonable, and if you should be picking up all the cost. Of course you may also just want to add it up and see if for you it is worth swallowing the extra costs. If you don't have access to this type of advice it may be worth chatting to ACAS about what is going on and if this would normally be considered reasonable.

    As an individual I stood alone.
    As a member of a group I did things.
    As part of a community I helped to create change!

  • Rechnin
    Rechnin Community member Posts: 89 Courageous
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    @ Geoark

    And that is the million dollar question, why do I need both accounts? I would be perfectly happy just swapping my 'personal' account for a business account, simple as that. But, seem I might have to have two separate accounts, one for home use and one for work. My current provider is offering a boost with a business orientated line and box, but, it would almost double my interest cost, that wouldn't be the greatest loss, just seems pointless. If I moved to a business account I have to start again with a new contract and 12 month commitment.

    I have done some calculating and it would seem better for me to be working from, even with added expenses, they **should** be covered by the £35 a month expenses we are allowed and savings on transport and food costs I'll will have from being at home. Added to that the extra time I have at home from not travelling and the simple fact i wont be at 'work', it should be much better.

    It all depends on getting my internet swapped over, how my tax code will be effected and the cost of the required home insurance. 

    As with everything else, I've not yet got all the details, so, we will see....
  • Cher_Alumni
    Cher_Alumni Scope alumni Posts: 5,734 Disability Gamechanger
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    @Rechnin Thanks for keeping us updated with how you are getting on.  I'm glad you are going to be better off without the commute and food costs.  

    if you can I would stick with just the personal internet account.  That is what I use for working from home and so far it's working well and reducing my outgoings.  
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  • Rechnin
    Rechnin Community member Posts: 89 Courageous
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    @Cher_Scope

    I hope I am not boring people as I am ure others are also struggling, I hope that this might be helping other people in their decisions as it seems this is something were are all going to be facing for at least until next year.

    Unfortunately, it doesn't look like there is any way (as far as I can see) that my employer will let me stay on the personal internet service I am on at the moment, as they require the extra cover that such an account providers. So, it looks like I will be replacing my current internet access or at least swapping them over as I cant afford to run two internet services side-by-sdie and commit to a new service for 12/18/24 months, in case things fell through.

    As for the rest, still not details on the tax code or cost of home insurance to cover what is needed, but, I should not need to register my home address as my work address as it will not lead to an increase of noise or footfall to my home address.  
  • Tori_Scope
    Tori_Scope Scope Posts: 12,499 Disability Gamechanger
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    You're definitely not boring anyone @Rechnin

    Hmm, that is strange. Yes it'd make sense to only pay for one internet service. I went onto USwitch  to compare business broadband deals in my area, and they seemed to range from about £18-55 a month. Has your employer told you what specifications you need? 

    Only one came up for me that wasn't a 12 or 24 month contract. It was a 1 month rolling contract for around £30 a month, but the download speed wasn't very high.

    Fingers crossed you'll get the information on your tax code soon.

    National Campaigns Officer at Scope, she/her

  • Rechnin
    Rechnin Community member Posts: 89 Courageous
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    @Tori_Scope

    Thanks, did want to sound like i was moaning.

    it looks like I will be swapping over then, little else choice. I have seen an additional line for £24 but it is just the same price to have a business account, so, why would I want both? I have had no issues so far with the normal internet i have and the business service should be even better.

    Looks like we wont be finding out much more till the new year, at least I have it easy (but boring) for the enxt few months (touch wood).


  • Tori_Scope
    Tori_Scope Scope Posts: 12,499 Disability Gamechanger
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    Not at all @Rechnin. This is quite a confusing and annoying situation!

    Yeah, the service should be better. 

    I hope it all goes smoothly, and that it'll be good news in the new year :)

    National Campaigns Officer at Scope, she/her

  • Rechnin
    Rechnin Community member Posts: 89 Courageous
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    I would like to share a bit of a happier recent event.

    Since lockdown has been going on I have been asked to go in to the office and assist clearing some work that had begun to pile up (all work I was told I couldn't do, but, that is beside the point). On one occasion I was asked to go in and work something I had never done before, I had an hour of training and was let to work it, the queue was cleared in three days and I even pointed out some process errors and dealt with a massive error I had done (not my fault, followed the process I was told but it was something completely out of left field).

    I even got an email from a senior member the regional management staff thanking me for my help and for doing such a good job.

    The main difference here was that I had support, no one was picking at target numbers or pointing out every last error that was made, and I will be making a big deal of this when I have my 1-2-1 next week.
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