The Chancellor is urging Britain’s workers to return to the office as soon as the government’s “work from home” guidance is lifted, declaring it was “really important” for younger staff.
Rishi Sunak agreed that operating remotely via Zoom or Teams during the pandemic had “not been great for workers” who might be in the early stage of their careers and find face-to-face interaction “particularly valuable”.
Signalling his strong support for workers to return to the office once Step 4 of the Prime Minister’s roadmap comes about, he said:
“I think especially for young people to be in your office, be in your workplace and learn from others more directly – is something that’s really important and I look forward to us slowly getting back to that.”
The Chancellor also revealed that more than a third of the working population had received state support during the Covid crisis, including through the furlough and self-employment support schemes.
Looking to the future, Mr Sunak sounded an upbeat note on the recovery, declaring that the economy’s “engine is roaring” and “ready to move up a gear” once restrictions are lifted on July 19.
The Chancellor also addressed the rapid rise in coronavirus cases, but said it remained “our intention” to ensure that unlocking later this month was irreversible. The success of the vaccination programme, which had “significantly broken” the link between cases and hospitalisations and deaths, had given ministers “confidence” to abolish measures as the vaccine rollout progressed.
“Even with rising cases, the hospitalisation numbers are at a manageable level.”