Public Sector: Coronavirus

Cabinet Office written question – answered on 17th January 2022.

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Photo of Ruth Jones Ruth Jones Shadow Minister (Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)

To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, whether it his policy to support improved work-life balance as part of public services' recovery from the covid-19 outbreak.

Photo of Michael Ellis Michael Ellis Paymaster General

The Government has put the recovery of public services at the heart of its building back better and levelling up agenda. We are investing £3.7 billion to build 40 new hospitals and we’re investing a further £4.7 billion in the core school budget by 2024-25. There are almost 10,000 more nurses and over 5,100 doctors now working in the NHS compared to last year, and we have recruited over 11,000 police officers.

The Government’s 2019 manifesto committed to encourage flexible working and consult on making it the default unless employers have good reasons not to. Since then, COVID-19 has changed working practices for many and led to the recognition of the need for more flexible working hours to balance work with other personal commitments. The Government intends to build on what we have learnt and ran a consultation proposing to reform the existing Right to Request flexible working from September to December 2021. We are currently analysing responses and will issue a formal Government response in due course.

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