UK employees see Coronavirus shutdown as a “free holiday”

Posted by Jonathan Ratcliffe, Thursday 12th March 2020

The threat of a total UK shutdown due to the Coronavirus outbreak is being welcomed by some employees seeing it as a “free holiday”.

The UK may well get a complete shutdown within the next two weeks according to some sources. If the Government decides to go ahead with a closure of workplaces, schools and public serviced then life as we know it will be very different for a few weeks. But some of our workforce is viewing this as an opportunity to have “2 weeks off work”

“I spoke to some of our younger members of staff, and I was surprised that rather than be a scary thought, they actively encouraged a shutdown”, explains Managing Director of National office provider

Ratcliffe adds, “The member of staff who will remain nameless just said “Get in, 2 weeks paid leave” – I thought it was quite funny at the time, but honestly he was made up and so were a few others. It makes you worry that our younger workforce just aren’t taking things seriously”.

This case isn’t isolated.

Guy from Liverpool: “everyone in the office is watching the news, 2 weeks or more, gets my vote”

Penny from Brighton: “if we get sent home then that’s fine. The virus is serious, and I don’t want it, so I’m happy to go home and watch TV for a bit”

Stuart from Glasgow: “cannee wait for some time off work and if it’s paid then that’s great for me”

The thought of a couple of weeks paid leave is appealing to some of those on lower incomes where the career ladder might not be an aim, but for those aiming high, it can be a worrying time.

“We are forward-planning as a business and putting together some work projects for our trainees that they can do from home in case of a lockdown”, Ratcliffe explains.

Some ideas for occupying employees if they have to self-isolate could include:

  1. Self-learning – identify some learning goals for staff to achieve from home
  2. Fitness – keeping physically active is as important as being mentally active
  3. Family – for those with kids, lockdown presents a special opportunity
  4. Wellbeing – spend time evaluating goals and reading more

“We all need to work together through these potentially difficult times. Even though some employees might welcome a break from work, it’s not quite as good as it sounds”, concludes Jonathan Ratcliffe of

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