Mon 3 Aug 2020: returning to work

It looks like I’ll be returning to work next week, working – and being paid at full rate for – half of my normal hours until the end of October, and then back to full time from November. The other half of my hours will continue to be paid by the “job retention scheme” although how exactly the various percentages and caps and whatnot work is unclear right now, I’ve seen at least three different ways of calculating it.

My last day at work was the 9th of April, so it will have been almost exactly four months of not working, then two and a bit months of half time.

For ages I’ve been saying – truthfully – that I’ve enjoyed furlough, but I am glad to be getting back. Unlike many people I’ve been able to trim my outgoings back a lot without my lifestyle being especially affected, primarily through taking a mortgage holiday and haven’t had to rely on savings or borrow to make ends meet, but even so, not paying the mortgage for several months means that when I do start paying it back again my payments will be about 10% higher than they were previously because of the extra interest that is due on the capital I didn’t pay back.

Things are going to be Interesting for my employer for at least the rest of this year. Hopefully my currently rather dim memories of how things worked, where everything is, and what I was working on when I stopped, will come back quickly, but it will still take me a little while to get back up to speed with where I was, and I was still very much a neophyte. But I have also been accruing holiday entitlement at the usual rate throughout all this, and not used any of it as all the events that I was planning to take time off for have been cancelled. There’s a corporate policy of not carrying leave over from one year to the next, so unless that’s changed I’m effectively only going to be on half time even when November comes! And it’s not just me in this boat – everyone coming back will be affected so some degree, and I expect that even amongst the employees who continued working full time all the way through there will have been a lot less holiday taken than in a normal year. Something that I think I shall have to discuss with The Boss when I speak to him to sort out what my hours are going to be.

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