Written question – DWP/Employment [03/12/2021]

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what steps her Department is taking to help ensure that departmental staff who have underlying health conditions can continue to work from home and not mandated to return to the office on a hybrid basis. (81990)

Tabled on: 25 November 2021

This question was grouped with the following question(s) for answer:

  1. To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what steps her Department is taking to help support departmental staff who have been working from home since the outbreak of covid-19. (81991)
    Tabled on: 25 November 2021

Guy Opperman:

We take the Health and Safety of DWP staff and customers very seriously. We have robust risk assessments and guidance to ensure all appropriate mitigations are in place to keep our people safe.

As part of regularly reviewing our risk assessments, working with our departmental and local trade union colleagues, we consult the legislation and guidance of the devolved administrations ensuring that any differences are reflected within the risk assessment and communicated to staff based in offices in Scotland and Wales.

Staff based in Scotland should be following the safety measures included in the DWP risk assessments that incorporate any differences in Scottish government guidance.

Since the start of the pandemic, DWP has rigorously followed guidance from the respective governments in the devolved nations, thus allowing people to work safely from the office, or at home. We are committed to continuing this approach as we learn to live with the virus and return more of our people to the workplace in a safe, steady and controlled way.

We are constantly reviewing our position as and when new government guidance is issued. No matter where our people are working now, or in the future, their safety and compliance with government guidance is our number one priority.

If your constituents remain concerned about their own, or their colleagues’ personal safety and / or any of the practices within their specific office, they can raise this with their line manager.

The answer was submitted on 03 Dec 2021 at 14:14.