14 July 2021

Response to the permanent secretary’s plans for returning to office working in DWP

We have told DWP that we believe the government’s decision to remove, at this stage, the legal safeguards that have protected society from Covid-19 is dangerous and reckless.  

PCS has been in ongoing talks with the DWP about how they respond to the government’s strategy. 
PCS welcomes the commitment from the DWP that there will not be a mass return to work at this stage for those staff currently working from home.

However we strongly oppose the Department’s plans to continue ramping up face to face activity in jobcentres at a time when rates of infection continue to rise in society. 

We will press the department to maintain all existing Covid safety control measures in DWP offices such as:

  • Full 2m social distancing 
  • Use of face coverings
  • No return to working in offices for vulnerable staff and those with vulnerable family members
  • Continued use of screens in jobcentres.

Hybrid working

The issue of hybrid working is connected to the dispute and forms part of our ongoing discussions with the Department about the return to office working. 

PCS does not accept that customer facing staff should be excluded from access to hybrid working and will continue to press for full access to blended working for all DWP staff.

Further information to follow

PCS will issue legal advice by personal email in the next few days about action members can take if they feel unsafe at work. 

You can update your personal information including your email address by logging on to PCS Digital (https://www.pcs.org.uk/news-events/news/register-pcs-digital-make-voting-easy)

The group executive committee (GEC) will meet next week to discuss the next steps in our campaign, and a further update will be issued after that.

Source URL: https://www.pcs.org.uk/news-events/news/response-permanent-secretarys-plans-returning-office-working-dwp