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Employers Can Ask Staff To Return To Work From 1 August

Employers Can Ask Staff To Return To Work From 1 August

Boris Johnson has said that employers can start asking staff to return to work from 1 August, scrapping previous work-from-home messaging that has been in place since March and allowing employers more discretion on how to keep staff safe.

The UK Prime Minister made the announcement in a briefing this morning (17 July) in which he said it is up to employers to decide if it is safe to bring staff back into offices.

Employers will be expected to consult their staff about the best mutually beneficial way to return to the office.

Commuting on public transport during rush hour is still advised against and local councils will have the power to enforce local lockdowns, where they are able to restrict the use of public transport and close premises and outdoor spaces, as necessary.

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The measures are part of a wider plan to get 'significant return to normality in time for Christmas', with Johnson saying he wants to 'hope for the best, but plan for the worst'.

Credit: PA
Credit: PA

The blanket 'work from home if you can' strategy was put into place in March when the coronavirus pandemic first hit the UK.

Since then, many offices have stayed closed as staff at businesses across the UK have adapted to a new way of working.

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The news comes after Chief Medical Officer Sir Patrick Vallance addressed the benefits of working from home, saying it's still a 'good option' for many.

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Speaking to the Commons science and technology committee, Vallance said that distancing measures like working from home are still important for containing the virus, saying that Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE) shared his views.

He said: "Of the various distancing measures, working from home for many companies remains a perfectly good option because it's easy to do.

"I think a number of companies think it's actually not detrimental to productivity. And in that situation, there's absolutely no reason I can see to change it."

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The news doesn't come as that much of a surprise. Johnson signalled that the rules could be about to change last week, when, after telling everyone to work from home for the last few months, argued that 'some people have loved' being in lockdown.

Johnson claimed last week that 'people have loved' coronavirus lockdown. Credit: PA
Johnson claimed last week that 'people have loved' coronavirus lockdown. Credit: PA

In an online question and answer session, Johnson said: "I want people to go back to work as carefully as possible. It's very important that people should be going back to work if they can now.

"I think everybody has sort of taken the 'stay at home if you can' - I think we should now say, well, 'go back to work if you can'. Because I think it's very important that people should try to lead their lives more normally."

Featured Image Credit: BBC

Topics: Coronavirus

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Amelia Ward

Amelia is a journalist at LADbible. After studying journalism at Liverpool John Moores and Salford Uni (don't ask), she went into PR and then the world of music. After a few years working on festivals and events, she went back to her roots. In her spare time, Amelia likes music, Liverpool FC, and spending good, quality time with her cat, Paul. You can contact Amelia at [email protected]