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Former Tory leader calls for civil servants to be forced to go back to the office

09 Aug 2021 3 minutes Read
Iain Duncan Smith MP. UK Parliament (CC 2.0)

A former Tory leader has called for civil servants to be forced to go back to work in the office.

Iain Duncan Smith was slammed as “pathetic and dangerous” by Welsh Labour MP Jo Stevens, after he warned of “redundancies” in the private sector if UK Government officials refuse to do so.

In response to an interview with Smith with Nick Ferrari on LBC, Stevens, who represents Cardiff Central, said: “Lawmaker who doesn’t understand the law. Both pathetic and dangerous”.

The comments from Smith come amid reports in The Times that a Whitehall department could order civil servants to go back to the office at least three days a week from October.

This contrasts with the advice to from the Welsh Government to businesses and organisations in Wales, which remains to let staff work from home wherever possible.

In the interview Smith said: “I think it’s’ important to get this in balance the civil service have always had flexible working, so often people would sometimes work from home, sometimes work from the office.

“The question really is should they be able to say no, I’m not coming into the office at all and I think that’s going to have to come to an end.

“There should now with everyone getting double jabbed, be the pressure to be in the office more than you’re away from the office and I think that process is the case.

‘Private sector’ 

“It is important for lots of reasons. We forget that the whole of the private sector requires in London particularly, but in other cities like Leeds etcetera, requires the civil servants to be back in their offices because there’s an ecosystem around them made up of cafes, restaurants bars, even theatres and other areas that give people jobs and without people back in their offices, going out for sandwiches, you know, coffees, etcetera that ecosystem will collapse and people will lose their jobs.

“There will literally be redundancies on a wide scale if people don’t come back to the offices, so thinking of others is quite important.

“Secondly you know the reality is we are more creative in our offices because you exchange with people who prompt you.

“How do you educate somebody new coming in to start their job if they’re not in the office with you. They can’t see how you work. They can’t see the mistakes you make.

“So it’s an integral and vital part of what we do to be in offices for those sorts of jobs that require it and I think it’s important for the civil service to give a lead in this by the time we start to get back in September.

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Mab Meirion
Mab Meirion
1 month ago

Another rogue for the gallery…

Kerry Davies
Kerry Davies
1 month ago

IBS says go back to work.
Government minister Kwasi Kwarteng says the opposite.
Now what do they do? Oh me oh my.

Gareth Westacott
Gareth Westacott
1 month ago

Sounds sensible to me.

hdavies15
hdavies15
1 month ago

Flexible working, hybrid arrangements, distant/remote working – plenty of jargon for it. Seems to work well for some employees, not so for others. Given the level of technology available and the need to cut down on the time spent travelling surely now is the time to enable people to use work patterns that generally suit them. IDS like so many senior Tories and other politicians are way too friendly with commercial property owners and developers whose golden goose is going to slow down and possibly keel over if working practices undergo this kind of revolution.

Chris
Chris
1 month ago

Backward looking dinosaur demands world turns backwards to the time of dinosaurs.

Mab Meirion
Mab Meirion
1 month ago
Reply to  Chris

Did I mention that a Walrus fished his Air Ace dad out of the sea during the war otherwise he would not exist. Jeremy Hardy had him nailed…

Erisian
Erisian
1 month ago

Who gives a damn what he says or thinks – the man has always been irrelavant outside his local constituency. The less travelling we all do the better.

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