Great Britain

Covid UK news — live: Work from home advice ‘to stay after lockdown’ as over-18s invited to book vaccines

UK Covid-19 vaccinations: Latest figures

The government will not tell workers that they should return to offices when coronavirus lockdown restrictions are expected to be lifted next month, according to a report, in a major shift in policy from last year.

Although ministers pushed for a return to offices last summer, The Guardian has reported government sources as saying that companies will not be told where their employees should work.

“The message we are hearing from business is not demanding a return, there is no pressure from that direction,” a source told the newspaper, adding that the pandemic had made workers “reappraise how they balance their lives”.

It came as all people aged 18 and over in England were made eligible to book their first Covid-19 jab this morning.

Boris Johnson said that being able to offer a jab to all adults less than 200 days after the vaccination campaign had been launched was one of the UK’s “greatest collective achievements”.

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Government will not push for ‘compulsory return to offices’, minister says

The government does not have any intention to make it compulsory to return to the office and there will be a consultation on more flexible working going forward, a minister has said.

“This is a situation for employers and employees to discuss and negotiate themselves,” policing minister Kit Malthouse told Sky News.

“I know there has been some media about this over the last two or three days, we don't have any intention to make it compulsory to return to the office.

“Our manifesto at the last election did contain a pledge to consult on more flexible working to allow people to work from home should they wish to, and we will be doing that later on this year.”

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Workers ‘will not be told to return to offices’ when lockdown ends

Workers will not be told by the government to return to offices when lockdown restrictions are expected to be lifted next month, despite ministers pushing for an end to home working last summer, according to a report.

In a major shift in policy from last year, The Guardian has reported that companies are unlikely to be told where their employees should work as part of plans to manage Covid-19.

“The message we are hearing from business is not demanding a return, there is no pressure from that direction,” a government source told the newspaper.

“The pandemic has made everyone reappraise how they balance their lives. The flexible working consultation actually pre-dates the pandemic – it’s about how people prioritise their different responsibilities including caring and children.

“It’s a train that has been in motion for a long time. But I think this past year has made everyone see that presenteeism isn’t always necessary.”

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Hello and welcome to The Independent’s live coverage of the coronavirus pandemic today.

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