Peter Cheese, chief executive of the CIPD, the professional body for HR and people development, welcomes a gradual returning to the workplace, further to the Prime Minister’s press conference this evening:

"It is absolutely right that the Government is suggesting a gradual return to the workplace for those who have been working from home.

“There are still widespread anxieties and recognition the pandemic is not over, particularly as infection rates are increasing. The majority of people who have been working from home have been able to do so successfully for the last 16 months, so a slow, cautious return to workplaces is the right approach at this time.  

“Employers have a fundamental ethical and legal duty of care to their workers. This means continuing to consult staff and taking steps to protect all workers from the risk of Covid-19. It’s also important that employers support good mental wellbeing by ensuring line managers provide flexibility, support and understanding where people have concerns. 

“We also believe that businesses should learn from the pandemic in providing for more flexible ways of working for the future. Employers and managers should work with their staff to create more opportunities for hybrid working and other forms of flexible working which can have a positive impact on employee health and wellbeing, inclusion and productivity.”  

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