Boris Johnson says people should talk to their bosses about going back to work ‘in a safe way’
Boris Johnson has said people should talk to their employers about returning to work safely (PA)
People who have been working from home during the coronavirus crisis should now talk to their bosses about returning to work, Boris Johnson has said.
The PM said employers have been going to "huge lengths" to make their businesses safe as lockdown restrictions are eased.
"And what I want to see is people now who've been working from home for a long time now talking to their employers, talking to their place of work about the steps that have been taken, and looking to come back to work in a safe way," he told reporters.
But Cabinet ministers have been accused of sending mixed messages to the public, with Justice Secretary Robert Buckland confirming on Monday that official Government guidance still advises people to work from home if they are able.
But he told ITV News people should also "make their own workplace judgement" on whether it was safe to return.
Just hours later, Mr Johnson said: "People are going to huge lengths to make their businesses Covid secure. They're installing washing facilities, they're installing screens, they're installing social distancing measures, doing all sorts of things to make the workplace safe."
The Prime Minister added: “I think that's got to be the key thing. It’s where businesses made a huge effort to make the workplace safe, I do think people should start to think about getting back to work. But provided we all continue to follow the precautions.”
Downing Street said the current advice says employers should decide, in consultation with employees, “whether its viable for them to continue working from home".
“Where it is decided that workers should come into their place of work, then this will need to be reflected in the risk assessments and actions taken to manage the risks of transmission," the PM's spokesman said.
He added: “There are employers who’ve gone to very significant lengths to make their premises Covid secure, and a safe place for their staff to be.
“The PM set out on Friday if your company is obeying the guidelines and provided it’s safe, you should look to go back to work.”
Asked if ministers would look to update official guidance, the spokesman said: “The guidance that we have is under review but it does say that employers and employees should discuss and agree working arrangements to best suit the needs of the business.
“We have published detailed guidance for a number of workplace settings that have allowed them to reopen safely.”