24 November 2021

Oppose DWP plans to force staff back to workplaces in Scotland

The Department for Work and Pensions is trying to force thousands of staff back into workplaces and we need you to contact your MP or MSP to help us oppose it.

We believe it is irresponsible for DWP to do this as scientists are clear that Covid-19 still poses a very serious public health risk.

The latest guidance published by the Scottish Government sends a clear message that workers should still work from home if they can.

Despite this, DWP is so far refusing to listen, and asking thousands of people, who have successfully worked from home during the pandemic, to return by Monday (29 November).

While we have not objected to the introduction of hybrid working in principle and acknowledge some members may want to volunteer for this way of working in future, we do not accept it is safe enough to introduce it now.

If you feel returning to the workplace would place you in danger, then you should ask to be allowed to continue home working until it is safe for you to return to your workplace.

If you have medical evidence recommending you continue to work from home, present it to your manager and escalate to your rep if it is ignored.

You are protected in law if you remove yourself from an unsafe workplace, through section 44 of the Employment Rights Act 1996. If you use this legislation to protect yourself, you will have our full backing.

If you are not prepared to take part in hybrid working now, speak to your manager and ensure all necessary safety arrangements are in place. If you have any concerns contact your rep, whose details you can find by logging into PCS Digital.

Lobby your MSP/MP

We want PCS members in DWP to contact their local MP and/or MSP if they feel the DWP plans are placing them at risk and if they agree with us that it contravenes Scottish Government guidelines. Use the draft letter but explain in your own words how the situation affects you.