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Working From Home Rules to Change From August 

Working From Home Rules to Change from August 
17 July 2020

Boris Johnson has confirmed that the official guidance on working during the pandemic will change from August.

At today’s press conference the Prime Minister said that employers will be given more discretion on how they organise their workforce:

“Instead of government telling people to work from home, we are going to give employers more discretion and ask them to make decisions about how their staff can work safely.

“That could mean of course continuing to work from home, which is one way of working safely and which has worked for many employers and employees.

“Or it could mean making workplaces safe by following COVID Secure guidelines. Whatever employers decide, they should consult closely with their employees, and only ask people to return to their place of work if it is safe.

“As we reopen our society and economy, it’s right that we give employers more discretion while continuing to ensure employees are kept safe.”


“It is my strong and sincere hope that we will be able to review the outstanding restrictions and allow a more significant return to normality from November at the earliest – possibly in time for Christmas.”

–Boris Johnson

Prime Minister of the United Kingdom


Office-Based Versus Remote Working is not a Binary choice, says IWFM


Chris Moriarty, Director of Insight at the Institute of Workplace and Facilities Management (IWFM) commented that their research suggests not all will be keen to return to their pre-lockdown working routines – with the number of employees not wanting to return to the office nearly doubling since the start of April.

He said: “As we slowly return to a ‘new normal’, businesses must ensure that office-based versus remote working is not seen as a binary choice. Employers must make efforts to provide staff with the right level of support to work effectively in whichever work setting they choose. 

“Policies should offer the choice and flexibility to work remotely or return to the corporate space in a flexible manner to maintain employee engagement and retain talent. Our research shows that almost 75 per cent of workers want more flexible working options when they return to the corporate work environment.

“With 43 per cent of employees concerned about having to revert to a costly commute, it’s also important to recognise the financial pressure commuting places on many workers, particularly those in the London region. We urge the Government to work closely with rail partners and local authorities to provide further incentives to get people back onto public transport.”


What Else was Announced Today in Johnson’s Speech?


  • As of 17 July, anyone can use public transport in England, although people are still encouraged to use alternative means where possible
  • An additional £3 billion of funding will go to the NHS in England to get ready for winter. Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland will also receive additional funds
  • From 1 August, most remaining leisure settings will be reopened, namely bowling, skating rinks and casinos
  • Also from 1 August, close contact services such as beautician treatments will resume
  • Indoor performances to a live audience will restart in August too, subject to the success of pilots, and larger gatherings in venues like sports stadia will be piloted, with a view to wider reopening in the Autumn
  • Wedding receptions for up to 30 people will be permitted
  • From October, the government “intend to bring back audiences in stadia” and to allow conferences and other business events to recommence, subject to the successful outcome of pilots
  • For 3 weeks now, the number of new cases identified through testing each day has been below 1,000
  • The latest SAGE advice is that, across the UK, the R rate remains between 0.7 and 0.9. SAGE also assess that the number of infections is shrinking by between 5 and 1 per cent every day
  • The number of patients newly admitted to hospital with coronavirus each day, and the number of coronavirus patients in mechanical ventilation beds, have both fallen by more than 90 per cent from their peak in early April
  • In Leicester, the percentage of people testing positive fell from a weekly rate of 12.2 per cent on 29 June to 4.8 per cent yesterday (16 July 2020)
  • From 18 July, local authorities will have new powers in their areas. They will be able to close specific premises, shut public outdoor spaces, and cancel events
  • Draft regulations will be published which set out how central government can intervene more effectively at a local level
  • The government will further increase testing capacity to at least half a million antigen tests a day – 3.5 million antigen tests a week – by the end of October


Picture: A photograph of a person working at a desk

Article written by Ella Tansley | Published 17 July 2020


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