Nick Ferrari in heated clash with Civil Service union over home-working ro
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Nick Ferrari invited Dave Penman of the FDA union to discuss the reports an unnamed minister called for civil servants to have their pay cut if they refused to return to their offices. Mr Penman said the story was simply leaked to create “civil servant bashing headlines” and dismissed the reports by revealing many civil servants were eager to return. But a cross Nick Ferrari said around three-quarters of civil servants were still working from home and said many were not doing a good enough job considering the past year in the UK as the two men began to argue.
The Daily Mail reported an unnamed minister proposed cutting civil servants pay if they did not return to the office as the Government is exploring safe ways for them to return.
Several weeks before the report, Chancellor Rishi Sunak personally pleaded with many Britons to end working from home as they would have better career prospects by meeting and speaking with people face-to-face.
The report has enraged civil servants who state it does not matter “where they sit” and say the Government has bigger things to worry about.
Mr Penman was invited onto LBC to defend civil servants and said: “I think many civil servants wake up astonished at these headlines, the kind of cowardly quotes from an unnamed minister attacking civil servants.
“Because the vast majority of civil servants actually want to be back in the office, all the evidence says most people want a balance between working some time at home and working sometime in the office.
“So I get a feeling this is a bit silly season stuff for ministers looking for some cheap civil service bashing headlines.”
Mr Ferrari disagreed and said around 75 percent of civil servants in the Department of Education were still working from home.
He continued and said it was “not good enough” considering it was now a busy time for the educations sector due to exams and the return to schools.
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Mr Penman said people could work effectively from home but Mr Ferrari questioned whether the Department of Education had performed well in the past 18 months considering the exam results row.
He added: “All you need to do is take a wander around the City of London, any day, and you’ll see that in the private sector, people have already embraced hybrid working.
“People have recognised that you can do your job as effectively from home as you can do in the office.
“And that’s the way the public sector is gone and it’s quite ironic because ministers are quite happy to bank the extra money they’re saving from reduced office space, even last week they announced that because of hybrid working they were going to add an extra eight government departments.
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“So they’re making savings around office rent, as our employers in the private sector and that’s why this is a win-win, employer save money, get productive working from home.”
Some government departments have picked different working setups with the Department of Health now choosing to scrap mandatory days working in the office.
While working from home guidance has been dropped in the UK, Scotland is still encouraging those who can work from home to do so.
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