The companies have warned Boris Johnson’s government that any attempt to give employees the legal right to work from home will cause “chaos” in offices across the country.
Reports suggest ministers are considering proposals to allow millions of workers to choose whether they wish to continue working from home after Covid restrictions end.
But business owners have said The independent that the government should not step in – saying businesses are in a better position to determine what is best for them and their staff when final lockdown restrictions are lifted.
Rachel Hayward, co-founder of the business exchange platform The Swap Shop, said: “The theory is great, but the practice could be impractical, given that many businesses need people in the workplace. .
She added: “Businesses and their employees should be on their own, because giving people the default right to work from home could be a legislative exaggeration. “
Imran Hussain, director of Harmony Financial Services, said all government efforts to try to find a ‘comprehensive’ work from home policy “will not be suitable for all sectors and could cause chaos in business. “.
But Joanna Swash, managing director of Moneypenny, a Wrexham-based answering and live chat service, said most companies have already introduced flexible and “hybrid” work models.
“We need the ability to make our own decisions,” she said. “We have to be careful that there are no companies forcing employees to do unnecessary things… But I don’t think we need legislation to do it.”
Anger and concern over potentially onerous legislation emerged after a government source told the Daily mail: “We are considering introducing a default right to flexible work.
“This would cover things like reasonable requests from parents to start late so they can drop their children off at daycare.”
The 2019 Conservative manifesto also promised to legislate to ensure companies offer more flexible work.
But Downing Street decided to tone down the row on Thursday. The prime minister’s official spokesperson said the government had “no plans” to make working from home the legal default after the pandemic.
Jesse Norman, the Treasury Minister, told Sky News that an announcement on proposals to boost flexible working would be made in due course, adding: “Of course we want a balanced return to work.
“It’s going to be very specific to the company or organization and any guidance the government issues will have to recognize that.”
The Federation of Small Businesses warned the government against any “snap action” this summer. “We will insist that small businesses should have the space to set up the working arrangements that work best for them,” said chairman Mike Cherry.
However, some business owners believe that a legal right to work from home would be a good idea. Trudy Simmons, founder of The Daisy Chain Group for Women Entrepreneurs, said it would give staff more freedom.
“Giving people the right to work from home would be a big step forward for all businesses and encourage employees to choose how and when they can do more for the business they work for,” said Ms. Simmons.
She added: “When people have a choice… employers will benefit more from their employees.”
Unions have also warned of the risk of a two-tiered workforce, split between those who can work from home and benefit from flexibility and those who cannot.
Angela Rayner, Deputy Leader of the Labor Party, said: “Instead of leaks and briefings, the government must release its proposals for office workers after July 19.
“The starting point must be a strengthening of workers’ rights to flexible working so that workers are not pressured or blackmailed into returning to unsafe workplaces. “
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This notice was published: 2021-06-17 16:25:08