Business lobby groups call out Prime Minister’s sudden U-turn from office working, saying his latest advice is “extraordinarily reactive and disruptive.”
Employers who want to continue a WFH set up for their employees may now continue to do so after Prime Minister Boris Johnson advised people on Tuesday, September 22 to remain working from home “if possible.”
Business figures and unions, however, have criticized the U.K.’s Prime Minister’s latest advice as it could “derail an already fragile recovery.”
Boris Johnson advice “extraordinarily reactive”
Boris Johnson’s advice is “extraordinarily reactive and extraordinarily disruptive,” says U.K. unions lobbying to get white-collar employees back to the office. The said groups also told the PM to ‘get a grip’ over his announcement allowing companies to let employees continue working from home “if possible.”
Johnson’s advice arrived following the alarming rise of coronavirus infections across the country.
The U.K. government, however, has previously launched a return-to-office campaign to revive city and town centers that had turned into “ghost towns” due to stay-at-home measures.
The director-general of British Chambers Commerce said he understands the need for further restrictions as an effort to mitigate the spread of the virus. However, he argued that such measures “will impact business and consumer confidence at a delicate time for the economy.”
“Businesses, their employees, and customers need to see a clear road map for the existing restrictions and those that may be introduced in the future,” Adam Marshall explained, per The Guardian.
A crushing blow
Dame Carolyn Fairbairn of CBI also echoed the same sentiment, emphasizing that the new restrictions would be a “crushing blow” for many entrepreneurs.
The CBI’s director-general also called out the sudden U-turn of Prime Minister Boris Johnson from office working as it would “keep our town and city centers under great economic pressure.”
The director of policy at the Institute of Directors (IoD) has also warned about the possible economic consequences of Johnson’s decision. He particularly argued that restrictions on office work and curfews on pubs and restos “put the brakes on the economic recovery.”
Restrictions, rising infections threaten economic outlook
Other personalities shared their concerns as well. The Bank of England’s governor, for instance, had warned the government about the increasing number of COVID-19 cases, which threatened the U.K.’s economic outlook.
The general secretary of the Trades Union Congress, on the other hand, asked the U.K. government to implement efficient test and trace systems as well as safety at work as the health crisis will not be over by Christmas.
“With infections rising, the government must get a grip on test and trace and safety at work. Workers are still telling us that employers are not enforcing social distancing or providing PPE to keep them safe,” Frances O’Grady said.