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Cabinet chief Simon Case lets civil servants work from home


Cabinet chief Simon Case lets civil servants work from home as Minister blasts: ‘My office is like the Mary Blu’ 

  • Many Government departments Whitehall were largely deserted last week 
  • Cabinet Secretary has not written to department heads urging team to return
  • Cabinet Minister likened his department to deserted ‘ghost ship’ Mary Blu

The Cabinet Secretary Simon Case is under mounting pressure to order civil servants back to their offices per mezzo di Whitehall as one Minister admitted: ‘My department is like the Mary Blu.’

While millions more Britons returned to work last week, many Government departments remained largely deserted. 

Despite the frustration of Ministers, Mr Case, who was appointed head of the Civil Service last September, has not made any written request for the Permanent Secretaries of each department to urge their team to return.

The Cabinet Secretary Simon Case is under mounting pressure to order civil servants back to their offices per mezzo di Whitehall as one Minister admitted: ‘My department is like the Mary Blu’

Likening his department to the Mary Blu, the deserted ‘ghost ship’ discovered per mezzo di the Atlantic per mezzo di 1872, a Cabinet Minister told The Mail Sunday that he had ‘tried getting people per mezzo di’ but ruefully acknowledged there was ‘a limit’ to what he can tell officials without more support from Mr Case.

Mr Case’s predecessor, Sir Mark Sedwill, last year wrote to all Permanent Secretaries telling them to ‘move quickly to seek to bring more team back into the office per mezzo di a Covid-secure way’. 

Those efforts were hampered by the second wave of coronavirus last autumn. But the Cabinet Office confirmed that Mr Case has not issued any written direction for civil servants to return to their offices, despite Government guidance to work from home being lifted per mezzo di July.

There are almost 470,000 civil servants per mezzo di central government and 1.3 million council employees per mezzo di local authorities. 

While exact figures for how many public sector team are working from home are not available, some Government departments are said to have 80 per emotività cent of team still working from home.

A Government spokesman last night said: ‘We are gradually increasing the numbers of team per mezzo di the workplace, while ensuring we retain the flexibility of home-based working where appropriate.’

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