Something caught our eye the other day at Cruzlaw Towers that I thought could make for a debate. During an interview with Elon Musk the questioner was talking about his views and SpaceEx work during lockdowns and asked the following question.

Interviewer: “What do you say to employees who say I think (by me working still) you are putting me and my family at risk?

Elon: “Great stay at home!”

The interviewer went on in response to ask if “he would pay employees if they decided to stay at home instead of reporting to work. Elon said he would stop if she wanted to pursue the point about him paying employees who want to stay at home given he believes the whole reaction to Covid has been “irrational.” This view is held by a lot of people though most are unlikely to call it out as governments and supporters seem to turn (as this interviewer did) against it very quickly.

Most people think it would be right if someone refuses to work then they should not be paid nor compensated for a personal decision not to work. It may be that in today’s thinking those people believe it is their right to get paid if they are afraid to work?

Interestingly there are many jobs that are on the whole safe and day to day work people are happy with but sometimes things turn and these employees now have to carry out work within their employment that could be termed dangerous. If you sign a contract and once things get ugly refuse to work where does that leave your employer who believes you have broken the terms of your employment or even the employee who now is not getting paid? As an example for those who believe this is an isolated issue re covid here are some examples.

  • Armed Forces peacetime/war
  • Doctors/Nurses working in hazardous environments e.g. covid wards
  • Miners
  • Seafarers crossing oceans with cargo ships
  • Factory workers in factories manufacturing explosives, chemicals etc
  • Mountain rescue teams

There are more examples where a job can be pleasant, safe and easy but something could turn and you could be in danger. If you decided not to go you would lose the job and people would agree right? So why is covid which as Elon remarks is “Safe for the majority of people and those at risk should be quarantined to keep them safe till we have solved the problem.”

His point seems right or do you think differently?

Have a great week!