Civil Service: Remote Working

Cabinet Office written question – answered on 16th July 2021.

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Photo of Mark Harper Mark Harper Conservative, Forest of Dean

To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, with reference to paragraph 18 of Covid-19 response: summer 2021, what his policy is on guidance to the civil service on working from home or returning to the office.

Photo of Fleur Anderson Fleur Anderson Shadow Minister (Cabinet Office)

To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, what guidance he (a) has issued or (b) plans to issue to civil service permanent secretaries and chief executives of arms-length bodies on ensuring adequate ventilation in buildings where civil servants work to reduce the risks of transmission of covid-19 infection; to what standards they should (i) plan and (ii) measure such ventilation; whether his Department plans to undertake enforcement to ensure that the risk is reduced; and whether he proposes to make funds available to improve standards of ventilation in those building.

Photo of Julia Lopez Julia Lopez Parliamentary Secretary (Cabinet Office), The Parliamentary Secretary, Cabinet Office

The Prime Minister has set out the arrangements that will be in place in England once we move to Step Four of the Government roadmap. It will no longer be necessary for the government to instruct people to work from home and so employers, including the Civil Service, will be able to support the safe return to the workplace. The safe return of more civil servants to the workplace will be enacted by departments in line with updated Safer Working guidance from the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy and guidance from the Health and Safety Executive. This includes guidance for ventilation.

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