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No 10 won’t order work from home staff back to the office after July 19

No 10 won’t order work from home staff back to the office after Boris Johnson ditches advice to log in remotely on July 19

  • ‘Work from home if you can’ rule to be scrapped when lockdown restrictions lift
  • Ministers will not launch a campaign to encourages workers to go back to offices
  • Senior Torys have urged the PM to get workers back to help fire up the economy

Boris Johnson is ready to ditch the ‘work from home’ guidance – but it will be left to employers and their staff to decide when workers go back to their desks.

The ‘work from home if you can’ rule is set to be formally abandoned as part of the lifting of the remaining lockdown restrictions on July 19.

But last night government sources told the Daily Mail that individual companies and their staff would be left to determine when and how workers return to the office. 

Ministers will not launch a campaign encouraging them to do so because they are resigned to there not being a mass return this summer.

Boris Johnson is ready to ditch the ‘work from home’ guidance – but it will be left to employers and their staff to decide when workers go back to their desks

The approach is unlikely to go down well with senior Tories, who have said the Prime Minister must tell workers to go back to the office to help fire up the economy.

Many town and city centres have suffered amid the move to home-working, and there are concerns it has hit productivity.

Asda yesterday became the latest business to announce that it will allow head office staff to work from home on a permanent basis.

The supermarket said it will introduce a hybrid model for the about 4,000 employees at its two main bases in Leeds and Leicester, and staff will be able to work from any location best suited to their job.

Bosses said there will be no set number of days staff will be expected in the office but they should talk to their managers to ‘strike the right balance … whilst ensuring this is led by the needs of the business’.

Ministers will not launch a campaign encouraging workers to return to the office because they are resigned to there not being a mass return this summer (file photo)

Ministers will not launch a campaign encouraging workers to return to the office because they are resigned to there not being a mass return this summer (file photo)

Previously banks Lloyds, Barclays and HSBC, call-centre operator Capita and British Gas owner Centrica have announced plans for hybrid working.

Ministers are expected to meet next week to finalise plans for removing the work from home advice. 

A Cabinet source: ‘It will be left up to employers working with their employees.

‘The reality is coming into the summer probably there will be some people who choose to keep working from home. 

‘I am not sure if it will be a rush back to the cities because July and August are always quiet anyway.’

Many town and city centres have suffered amid the move to home-working, and there are concerns it has hit productivity

Many town and city centres have suffered amid the move to home-working, and there are concerns it has hit productivity

Last night former Tory leader Sir Iain Duncan Smith urged ministers to do all they can to encourage people back to the workplace.

‘Instead of saying “work from home if you can”, they should say “work from the office if you can”,’ he said. ‘But of course they won’t because they are gripped by fear.’

The Mail revealed yesterday that while a final decision on lifting restrictions will not be made until July 12, a plan will be published next week to give business and individuals more time to adjust. 

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