Boris Johnson Orders Civil Servants To Get Back To The Office

The prime minister wants Whitehall office to return to pre-pandemic occupancy levels.
Ministers are under pressure to get their civil servants back to the office
Ministers are under pressure to get their civil servants back to the office
SOPA Images via Getty Images

Boris Johnson has given his backing to demands for civil servants to return to the office following the pandemic.

The prime minister told cabinet this morning that ministers must do “everything possible” to get their offices back to pre-pandemic occupancy levels.

His comments came after official figures showed that in some departments, just a quarter of officials were back at their desks.

The PM’s official spokesman said Jacob Rees-Mogg, the minister for government efficiency, told cabinet that “face-to-face working provided clear benefits both to staff and to the public and that it was important for all departments to return to the pre-pandemic position of full occupancy”.

He added: “The prime minister agreed and encouraged ministers and their departments to do everything possible to speed up the return of more civil servants into the office.”

According to figures released by the Cabinet Office, the Department for Education has the worst record on getting staff back to the office, with only 25 per cent doing so.

By contrast, 73 per cent of Department for International Trade officials are no longer working from home.

The PM’s spokesman said Johnson will be playing “an active role” in encouraging ministers and senior civil servants in the worst-performing departments to up their game.

He said: “The prime ministers feels that it’s important that we make best use of our taxpayer-funded departments, which are not returning everyone to the levels we saw before the pandemic.

“This is not simply about value for money for taxpayer-funded buildings, but to benefit the staff, particularly junior staff, who benefit from face-to-face working.”


What's Hot