Outcome

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I did intend updating you on the process of a tribunal. Due to a change of circumstances, I have not been part of a tribunal or legal process around outstanding redundancy pay so I cannot update you on it.

Thank you for your understanding in this regard.

Regarding unfair dismissal claims, this is a different issue. I encourage anyone who believes they were dismissed unfairly to take this to an employment tribunal.

Unfair dismissal commonly results from processes not being correctly followed by an employer. It is worth checking with ACAS to make sure that the legal definition of unfair dismissal applies.

Tribunal fees have now been abolished, so even relatively small claims are worth pursuing.  The tribunal adheres to tight timelines, and the clock starts ticking the day your job ends. Be sure to get any claim started in good time, and check current timelines as these can change without much notice.

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Employment Tribunal Update

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  • Update: Due to the fact that my issue remains unresolved & the personal cost of this is escalating, it seems inevitable that I will have to take my case to a tribunal as the claim is now substantial.
  • As I can’t afford solicitors I will be doing this myself. Fortunately, recent favourable changes in the law mean that fees are no longer a problem. Contact me if you can offer any advice.
  • I Intend to share my experience in the hope it helps others. Meantime, I will take equality advice & see what I can learn.

I am waiting for a final certificate from ACAS which they will issue if my ex-employer fails to agree or extend meditation. It seems likely they will refuse, so I expect fast progress.

Thank you for all the free expert advice so far. I will respond as soon as I know more.

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Descrimination, Redundancy & Unfair Dismissal

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If your role is made redundant, your company has to be very careful to follow processes. These can be complicated, especially where disability and other factors are in play.

Watch this space for an article around a real life case that I am in the middle of. I am checking to determine if there is anything that I may not legally post on the internet. If there is freedom to post audio & correspondence that I am part of, then I promise it will be an interesting read.

Redundancy details may differ, but essentially the job is .. well, dead. I will add pages in links below as things progress & time allows.

  1. Personal Circumstances – Redundancy has to take your personal circumstances into consideration.
  2. Redundancy Process       – Employee & Employer rights & obligations
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English Fruitcake

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English Fruitcake : You, me & IT

Mental musings in the UK

 

Chatting to fellow home workers, & listening to the news this week has finally given me the shove I need.  It’s time to get organised & finally write English Fruitcake – a book I have been meaning to write for ages.  Between jobs, websites, blogs & self soothing, I have just never managed to get time.  Still, miracles do happen, & although mine are running late, I am hoping one is about to pull in & bring the gift of time.

 

People work from home for many reasons.  Video editors, writers, accountants, typists & call centre agents & many other careers or jobs can be worked from home.  Granted, some people do it to save money on overheads or commuting, others earn money around caring for other people & what’s not to love about having your dog, cat or bunny nearby?  This sector does, however, attract other workers – People who have no other option.

Depression, agoraphobia, fibromyalgia, PTSD & anxiety are a few of many more conditions that make it difficult for afflicted people to earn a living.  Globalisation & migration are today’s reality, but in many ways, our infrastructure & services are sadly lagging behind & unable to cope with the current needs of society today.

 

mentalhealth

 

Mental health issues have been confined to Dickens’ pea soup fog era for too long.  From the asylums in Victorian times through to the suspicion on the face of the advisor at the Jobcentre today, we are just not that good at relating to people who have health problems that include a mental health component.

It’s tricky to decide where the difficulty starts.  The problems that come with dealing with fruitcakes have changed shape over the years. Most of us now know that someone who dribbles & talks gibberish is not necessarily a mass murderer, & Prof. Hawkins has shown us that people who struggle to communicate do not always lack intelligence.  Most mental health issues are less obvious than these cases, & may or may not be linked to physical health problems.  It is extremely likely that either you or someone you know well is coping with unseen health challenges.

That’s where English Fruitcake comes in.  Mental health is about to come out of the closet. The longer we live, the more likely it is that either ourselves or someone close to us will be affected by dementia (stroke, accident or Alzheimer’s).  Migrants from war-torn or high crime countries bring their minds & emotions along with them.  Eating disorders are on the increase, & many people suffer behind closed doors, alone & forgotten.

Our government cannot fix it all for us.  Well or unwell, we need to grow our awareness of mental health, & change our environment so that people can fit into it.

UK Fruitcake didn’t sound right, but if I am able to write it, in the interests of fairness for our nutty neighbours, I could call the sequel Scottish Caught-Short, followed by Welsh-Wotnots  (translated into Welsh, of course)   Perhaps the Irish will laugh their way through all three, revenge at last for all those Murphy jokes……

On a serious note, please let me know if you have anything you would like to share before I get started on this book.  My loose plan so far covers

  1.  Clarify this is not a medical book
  2. MH issues on the increase, explore reasons
  3. Mental health of migrants from war-torn countries will hopefully spread awareness & benefit all who are unwell
  4. Work with your GP – Eg: Explain why your agoraphobia is not always resolved by booking an early apt if housebound
  5. Effects of MH – Isolation, barriers to accessing services, no glasses, can’t see dentist
  6. Taking back power – Dealing with sudden noises, medication changes, leveraging internet
  7. Art therapy – Explain, examples, interviews & real stories
  8. Express yourself
  9. How to let people know your problem when you cannot speak for yourself
  10. Identify people who might be suffering (teens, elders)
  11. Understanding MH issues & how to deal with sufferers
  12. Humour
  13. Information sheet – Where to find help

Wondering whether this would work best as a tabloid newsprint (for the not internet savvy), or as a paperback?  (In addition to an ebook)

 

As always, shout me your thoughts, here or PM – Would love to hear them.

 

 

 

Credits:  Photo used is CC & requires this to be provided as a source

 

Currently recruiting homeworkers UK – Work from home jobs

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Currently recruiting homeworkers UK

So you wanna work from home, or add another home working job to the one you already have?  This is a quick note about some opportunities that you might fancy.

 

Call Centre Work from home, UK

Full time, 40hrs a week

Call centre work from home – Training & PC provided, you need your own monitor, keyboard & mouse, plus wired broadband connection & telephone with a headset

Firstsource Application

 

Writers / Authors

Fancy writing articles for payment?  Checkout

Textbroker

They might take a few weeks to get you onto the system, but as far as I can see, it looks quite straight forward.

 

Help Chinese people speak conversational English

For the risk takers.  I have not had time to explore this fully, but if you are a morning person (peak time is 8am -11am UK) then Nice Talk Tutor is an application that you download to your mobile ‘-phone.  The idea is that you upload a profile & a short video.  Once accepted, if Chinese people wanting to practice their conversational English call you, you earn $10 an hour paid via PayPal.

It’s new, the app is glitchy, but I like the idea & hope it works & leads to bigger & better things.

If you do this, ask me for my refer code R3PGA5VG & I get 20 USD if someone speaks to you for 30 minutes 🙂

I am curious to know if this works.  Stay safe always –  If you have any concerns use a different handset to your usual one, & do let me know how & if this works out for you.

 

Have fun!

Pic licence

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Homeworking during a Heatwave

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Keeping your cool during a heatwave

UK homes are designed to keep heat in.  Climate change or just the advent of summer means that random very hot days do happen. These are great for school kids and holiday makers but can make homeworking uncomfortable.  Temperatures are changing all over the world, but with a little forethought a hot day need not make your homeworking life miserable.

Sudden increases in heat can be dangerous and increase the risks of strokes, heart attacks and dehydration.  Homeworkers often work in customer services, and being hot and uncomfortable makes most people, well – Cranky.  This is not helpful to you nor to the people you interact with.  Heatwaves, or just hot days, can cause fatigue and make it difficult to stay focused.  A series of these days can make you miserable and managing them makes good personal and business sense.

Here are some ideas of how to cope with the hot weather if you have to stay indoors.  They are in order of what is important to me, your priorities may differ, but are likely to be similar.

Bugs come out with the sun.  Swap curtains or replace nets with these to keep insects alive, and out.  Cheap, effective, leave them up all year to maximise natural light in the winter.

workfromhome

 

You can buy these cheaply

Flasks keep drinks cold as well as hot, and they are eco-friendly.  Fill them with water or your favourite cooler to stay hydrated.

Keep the kids/dogs/birds/rabbits contained so you can work with the office door open.  Open windows and ventilate to get a through breeze

Fans are great for moving air around but do use them strategically.

table-fan-home-office-electric-32004536

Wind blowing directly onto your face can dry your eyes out, directly onto your back or neck can cause muscle tension.  Fans are best when situated in a place where they can increase the flow of air that enters naturally through windows or doors.

Ceiling fans are inexpensive and can we reversed to circulate warm air in winter.  These are worth considering if you are in an area where the general temperature seems to be on the increase.

Opening doors and windows often means that you have to deal with higher noise levels from outside.  A fan, even a small desk fan, creates white noise and either eliminates or disguises street noise.

Leatherette chairs can be uncomfortable.  A small cotton towel on the seat can make a big difference and stop your seat from becoming your shell when you get up – 🙂

Water absorbs heat.  If you  have space and if it is safe to do so, placing bowls of water in front of airways might help.  Position them safely, away from electric sources. Experiment.  Add ice cubes.

Blinds can be useful if your office windows gets direct sunlight.  Pull them down during the hottest part of the day, but stay with light colours.  Black is great for dresses, but lighter colours give a cooler feel indoors, and deflect light.

Clothing.  Well now…..  Hang loose!

 

How do you keep your cool?

 

Give to get

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You have to give to get.  We know it, even our children know it.  Do it!

Wherever you work, however you earn your survival, life is not a one way street.  We all have our ups and downs, and finances are a struggle for most us at least some of the time.  When these bad patches arrive, they can seriously affect our state of mind, and reduce our ability to work and produce.

Strangely, one of the best ways to cope with these times is to give.  Money is still the form of exchange that we use to measure ourselves and others.  It is also the stuff we use to keep our bellies full and our lights on.

I do not know why it is, but often it’s when you have the least that it’s  most vital to give.  There is something in the laws that govern you, me and the whole wide world that changes gear when you give, and this is even more noticeable when you are…..Well, skint.

givetoget

Maybe it’s empowering to know that you can help another person, perhaps it really has got something to do with energy direction flows and getting into the right lane on the highway of life, I don’t know.  I do know from experience that good things happen, and that something changes when you hand over some moolah, expecting nothing in return.  Kahlil Gibran wrote, ” There are those who give with joy, and that joy is their reward, and there are those who give with pain, and that pain is their baptism.   And there are those who give and know not pain in giving, nor do they seek joy, nor give with mindfulness of virtue; they give as in yonder valley the myrtle breathes its fragrance into space. Through the hands of such as these God speaks, and from behind their eyes He smiles upon the earth. It is well to give when asked, but it is better to give unasked, through understanding…..All you have will one day be given…”

That was Kahlil.  Me?  I am not that lyrical.  I just know that if you are struggling, giving with no expectation of reward and forgetting about it is always followed by some movement in your life, like a laxative that shouldn’t work 🙂

I am a year older today.  If you want to do something for me, please take a moment to give a donation to real people who feed real pensioners in Zimbabwe? They don’t have anyone else, and you might just need the benefits that giving freely brings.  The currency is weak, whatever you can spare will make a difference.  Paypal works.  Link to their site follows if you want to read, call or check them out.  It does, however, open on the payment page in case you just want to give because you can, or you just will give because you can’t.

FeedZimbabweanOldiesHere

Thanks in advance to anyone who responds.  Nobody will ever know except you 🙂

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Work from home job vacancies – Employing now

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Latest work from home job vacancies Call Centre, Inbound, UK.

Ready to give homeworking a try?

Work from home job vacancies do come up all at the same time.  Firstsource are recruiting work from home call centre agents now, to start 20th and 27 July.  More information on the link below:

Firstsource Vacancies

Let me know if you apply?  PM or email please.

 

 

 

Homeworker? Break it to make it

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Working from home?  Take your break

Workers need breaks.  Fact.  In the bricks and mortar world, big business insists that employees take their breaks, not because they have big hearts, but rather because they want fat bank accounts.  Science has proven that you get more out of a person if they take some time away from doing their job every day.

Home workers, like the rest of you, often work really hard for little pay.  Home workers, unlike the rest of you, are often forced to put in loads of extra unpaid hours on top.  Due to our isolation, we are often our own HR Department, IT Specialist, Timekeeper, Health and Safety Officer, QC and secretary.  Got training?  Well, nobody is going to tap you on the shoulder five minutes before hand because….. Well, there isn’t anybody. Need information? It’s all there, somewhere on the website or in your email, so if you want/need it, you must go and find it.  Things take longer, there is no Manager’s door to knock on for a quick chat or decision.  Feeling fragile?  Tough.  There is nobody around to notice your red eyes, pale face, sunburn or to bring you a brew because they can see you having an off day.

Despite all of this, friends and family seem to honestly believe that because we work from home, we are available to cover for them at the drop of a hat.  They GET that we are working, but they know we are also at HOME.  As such, receiving parcels, covering their schools runs, taking their dog to vet and babysitting the unwell “he really is no problem” little Johnny should be easy.  For most of us, these things are simply not possible.  Why then, do so many of us squander our break time?  It is the only time we get to be our own buddy, and tend to ourselves.

Breaks.  Tea breaks, lunch breaks, they are VITAL for home workers.  Are you making the most of yours?

 

takeyourbreak

Many home workers work on the telephone, a computer, or both.  The work is often repetitive and intense.  Calls are back to back for hours on end, and everything is done live, on a terminal or computer.  Contracts are often designed with clauses that meet bare legal requirements.  Production is measured by the minute if not by the second, and terms can be very restrictive and heavily in the employers favour.  It is common for lunch breaks to be unpaid, and for employers to dodge splurging even on the 15 minute paid tea break by ensuring that shifts stay within 6 hour blocks  – The maximum the law allows without forcing them to finance a tea break.  This is not a crit on the evils of the industry, there are many benefits to working from home.  I am, however,  trying to stress the importance of home workers leveraging their breaks to the full.

So how can we do this?  We work at home, so the temptation to fill our breaks with housework and other chores is very real, assuming we can pry our butts off our office chair at all.  When the (forced, unpaid) break time does come around, it’s very easy to get into the habit of spending it answering emails, paying bills, renewing the household insurance or doing other tasks that keep us in our office.

This is not good practice.  It is neither healthy nor sensible.  The science tells us that we need breaks to remain productive.  If we don’t work, we don’t get paid.  We cannot work if we become unwell.  Home workers often suffer with eyestrain, migraines, muscle tension and circulation problems.  Take control.  You earned your precious break, and you need to spend this time wisely.  Your work is measured by the second on a spreadsheet somewhere, so how can you allow your personal time to slip away from you?  No!  You, me – We are worth more than that.

It doesn’t matter how you invest in your breaks, it does matter that you take them for yourself.  Eat something, drink something.  Get away from the glare of the PC, move a little, stretch a lot.  Try to arrange your chores around your working hours so that you too have a real break from work rather than switching from one job, to another, then rushing back to work.  Save and savour your break time.  Use it for things you enjoy, like walking the dog, nipping next door for a cuppa, watering the garden or dancing around the lounge.

 

takeabreakdance takeabreaboutdoors jobsforover50s

Never forget, we work to live.  Most jobs can be very restrictive, none more so than the kind of jobs that convert well to home working.  So, max out on your breaks.  Set your stopwatch, then get out of the office.  Sing, dance, breathe, move.   Have fun!  It’s YOUR time – Enjoy it, you have earned it.  (Yes, Bones – I did mention walking the dog…….)

How do you spend your break time?

 

People and Money. Plenty and Scarce

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It seems strange that the two things the world has most of appear to be the two things most people seem to struggle hardest to find and then to hold onto. What are these two things? Well, they are people, and money.

There are more people alive than ever before, and money is no longer backed by any real wealth. That thing they call “quantitative easing” means that governments can simply print paper money which really is backed by nothing. So why is it that so many people in the world are lonely, poor, or both?

That’s one question I cannot answer. What I do know for sure is that the way we deal with both of these pillars that structure our lives has to change if we have any hope of participating in the world as it is now.

If your friends, children and grandchildren seem to glaze over while you chatter away to the top of the heads, it’s not because they don’t love you, or that they have no interest in you. It’s simply because the way you speak to them no longer holds their attention. People are busy, and leisure time is precious. Technology is designed to be user-friendly, so I encourage you to reach out and get connected. Now. You could be pleasantly surprised.

buildawebsiteforover50s

Prices rise, budgets are increasingly harder to manage. If you are spending money sending parcels, cards and gifts, then it’s certainly good old fashioned common sense to grab yourself a phone, laptop or tablet, and hook it up to the internet. I you have  been offered a device, or have one in the back of a  cupboard somewhere – Get it out!  If you don’t have one, ask around. Someone close to you will have a spare that they no longer want that’s just too good to throw away. They would love the idea of it being put to good use.

Then what? Well, it’s time to go through that address book, add the information to the contacts list, and add important dates too. This is a basic feature in all devices made in the past decade. Get organised. Add email addresses, grab yourself a free email address. Add an instant chat, free application like WhatsApp or Viber, and suddenly you can send instant messages to anyone, anywhere in the world free of charge. Out shopping and not sure if the bath towel you want to get for your daughter is the right colour blue? No problem. Snap a picture, and sent it to her instantly. This saves time, money and return trips to the mall.

Once you get started, you will find that the people around you gradually start interacting with you again. Communication is still a two-way street. Once you get connected, people will be able to interact with you. The birthday greetings, special day notes, kind thoughts, and virtual roses will start flooding in. Virtual, you’re thinking, what is the use of that? Well, virtual flowers now die, and can be stored for as long as you like. You might also get a brew brought to you if you instant message your request to your granddaughter because she will actually notice that you are speaking to her, even with her headphones on.

So that covers people, what about the money side of things? That I can answer in much fewer words – Get a website, write about something people want to read, and decide which of the many ways to earn money online suits you the best. It’s amazing how a country opens up when you learn to speak the local lingo. It’s equally amazing how the universe unfolds when people understand what you are trying to say.

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