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Employment law for employees & Employment law for employers

Top civil servant privately warns the PM against forcing government workers back to the office

It was recently reported that the UK’s top civil servant, Simon Case, and at least four permanent secretaries, have raised concerns about forcing civil servants back to the office as anger grows over the use of “scare tactics”.

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The warnings come shortly after Jacob Rees-Mogg was reported to have left “sorry you were out” notes on empty Whitehall desks, in an attempt to cajole civil servants back to government offices. Some have labelled this a “stunt” and a scare-tactic.

The story comes against a general increase in the adoption of more flexible and hybrid working practices across the UK as a result of the pandemic.

With rising costs of living, some workers see working from home as a more cost-effective option than going into the office, saving on travel and food expenses. Some employers are offering incentives to encourage workers back to the office, such as covering travel expenses or free breakfasts and lunch. However, this is not a viable option for many businesses, many of which understandably need their workforce back.

There seems no doubt that flexible, agile and hybrid working is here to stay. However with the dust still settling after almost two years of lockdowns and restrictions, what the future landscape will look like is still unclear.

We will be considering these issues and more in our one-hour webinar on 12 May 2022 at 11am.

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Daniel Zona

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daniel.zona@collyerbristow.com



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