Jacob Rees-Mogg tells Cabinet to start 'rapid return' of civil servants to offices

19 April 2022, 10:19 | Updated: 19 April 2022, 12:24

Mr Rees-Mogg wants a 'rapid' return of civil servants to offices
Mr Rees-Mogg wants a 'rapid' return of civil servants to offices. Picture: Alamy

By Asher McShane

Ministers are being told to order civil servants to return to the office, with up to three quarters of staff still working from home.

Northern Ireland Secretary Brandon Lewis told LBC this morning: "I support the work Jacob Rees-Mogg is doing to see more people back in the office, I think it is a good thing."

Up to three quarters of staff are still working from home, according to The Telegraph.

The newspaper said that Jacob Rees-Mogg, the minister for Government efficiency, has written to all secretaries of state saying they must send a "clear message" to civil servants to bring about a "rapid return" to face-to-face work.

Civil servant says end of home working would be 'horrific'

He has also sent ministers a league table showing how many staff in each Government department were attending the office on an average day in the week staring April 4, it said.

In his letter, Mr Rees-Mogg reportedly wrote: "Now that we are learning to live with Covid and have lifted all legal restrictions in England, we must continue to accelerate the return of civil servants to office buildings to realise the benefits of face-to-face, collaborative working and the wider benefits for the economy.

To deliver this, the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, Steve Barclay, and I, urge you to issue a clear message to civil servants in your department to ensure a rapid return to the office.

"[This] is subject to existing legal obligations, including but not limited to, equality and discrimination considerations and statutory rights to request flexible working arrangements."

A Whitehall audit revealed roughly 80% of Government departments were operating with less than half of all desks in use, while 36% were running at two thirds of normal levels.

Prior to the Covid crisis, average staff occupancy across the estate stood at around 80%, it said.

Dave Penman, general secretary of the FDA union, which represents senior civil servants, was quoted as claiming Mr Rees-Mogg is less interested in "productivity or delivery" than spending time "counting civil servants in and out of buildings".

A Government spokesperson said: "Ministers have been clear that departments should make maximum use of office space and progress is being monitored."

More Latest News

See more More Latest News

APTOPIX Indonesia Volcano Eruption

Rescuers find final missing climbing after volcano eruption

A new study has revealed the impact of 'shrinkflation'.

Festive faves hit by ‘shrinkflation’ as shoppers show how Christmas treats have declined in size over the years

Rishi Sunak is hoping to appease the 'vast majority' of Tory MPs with the new legislation.

Sunak to ‘cut through middle’ on Rwanda plan in bid to appease ‘majority’ of Tory MPs as ministers threaten to quit

Mr Johnson is expected to apologise to the Covid Inquiry and acknowledge the government did not get everything right during the pandemic.

Boris Johnson to tell Covid Inquiry he 'delayed first lockdown based on Chris Whitty's advice'

Police have linked an assault that took place hours before Anthony's murder to the investigation.

Cold case detectives link baseball bat assault to unsolved 1984 murder as they appeal for witnesses

A woman has died and two have been injured.

Woman, 42, dies after east London shooting as murder investigation launched

His wife Elizabeth Hines announced his death on Tuesday evening.

'He'll be remembered with great fondness': Paul McCartney leads tributes to Wings guitarist Denny Laine

The King and Queen were joined by William and Kate for the Diplomatic Reception.

Business as usual: Royal family puts on united front at diplomatic reception in first joint appearance amid race row

US Russia Detainees

Russia rejects offer over jailed Americans Paul Whelan and Evan Gershkovich

Israel Palestinians Hamas IS

Netanyahu says Israel must retain control of security in Gaza after the war

House Explosion Virginia

Man believed to have fired shots before Virginia house exploded is dead: police

Jonathan Majors Assault Case

Jonathan Majors’ accuser said actor’s ‘violent temper’ left her fearful

Johnson was jailed for two years for preventing a burial and was given concurrent six-month sentences for each of the three fraud charges.

Carer jailed for storing pensioner's body in freezer for two years after being 'overcome with grief'

Cameron meets Nelson Mandela

Hamas officials join Mandela’s family to mark 10th anniversary of his death

Everything the High Court has heard so far in Harry's legal fight against the Home Office.

Why is Prince Harry challenging the UK government in court? Everything we know so far

The Home Secretary has described a new migration treaty with Rwanda as far more ‘robust’ than previous proposals

'Thousands of asylum seekers will be taken in from UK', Rwandan Govt tells LBC, but criminals will be sent back