The Government is now denying that it planned to launch a campaign to get employees back in to the office.
However, the Prime Minister’s official spokesman rejected reports that such a campaign had been put on hold and in fact stated such a campaign never existed. This has led to a senior Conservative backbencher demanding clearer government communication and consistency.
The Prime Minister’s official spokesman said:
There has never been a ‘back to work campaign’.
Instead, the spokesman said that a “press partnership campaign with regional and local media” with a lot of attention on how to make offices COVID safe.
When the campaign was originally announced it created a rift in the cabinet with Grant Shapps, Transport Secretary saying that some parts of a job are “impossible” to do remotely, and appearing in television interviews and stating it is now safe to return to the workplace.
Matt Hancock, Health Secretary disagreed which created a disagreement in the cabinet by saying that he cares more about the effectiveness of employees’ work in his department, rather than whether or not they come in to the office.
Prime Minister, Boris Johnson on 02/09/20 said that the Government is working with the rail industry to create a flexible season ticket in a bid to get employees back in to the office.
Mr Johnson at Prime Minister Questions (PMQs) said:
We are working at pace with rail companies to try to deliver new products in terms of ticketing to ensure not just better value, but also enable people to get back to work in a flexible way.
Whereas Dame Carolyn Fairbairn, the director-general of the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) saying that due to the lack of workers in offices, UK city centres have become “ghost towns” and urges the Government and employers to encourage staff back to their workplace.