Tory MP asks for reassurance that UK Government ‘back to office’ guidance for civil servants will overrule that of Wales
A Conservative MP has asked for reassurance that the UK Government’s instruction for civil servants to get back to the office will overrule that of Wales, where the Welsh Government continues to advise people to work from home if possible.
Aberconwy MP Robin Millar was responding to new Downing Street Chief of Staff Steve Barclay who said that UK Government guidance was that “all our buildings return to the maximum available capacity as soon as possible now that new restrictions have lifted”.
Robin Millar then asked him to clarify “that any UK Government instruction to civil servants will also apply in Wales, where Welsh Government guidance remains to work at home?”
Steve Barclay responded to say: “We are clear, in relation to areas of reserved authority, that we are a UK Government—indeed, the Prime Minister is the Minister for the Union—and we have been clear on that in our messaging with Departments.”
When asked whether their work at home guidance applied to UK Government civil servants, the Welsh Government confirmed to Nation.Cymru that the guidance applied to all people and employers residing in Wales.
The Welsh Government’s guidance at the moment is that “those who can work from home to do so as part of Wales’ overall efforts to control the spread of the virus. It is the most effective way to minimise exposure to coronavirus at the workplace.
“If you cannot work from home, it is strongly recommended that you take regular lateral flow tests if you don’t have any symptoms.”
A legal restriction imposed in December to work from home unless unavoidable – with £60 fines for anyone who did not comply – has now been scrapped.
Since 27 January people in England are no longer be advised to work from home and were advised to discuss their return to offices with employers.
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