A number of firms in the Square Mile will be “breathing a collective sigh of relief” that the capital has escaped the toughest Covid-19 restrictions, but an update on office workers is needed, the City of London Corporation has said.
City of London Corporation policy chair Catherine McGuinness, said: “A blanket recommendation to work from home into the Spring risks stalling the capital’s recovery and damaging long-term competitiveness."
The comments came as London was put into Tier 2 in a decision which means restaurants and many pubs and bars will be able to reopen on December 2. Under Tier 3 hospitality venues are closed, but takeaway sales are permitted.
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Under all tiers everyone who can work from home should do so. Numerous office workers have done their jobs remotely since March when the first lockdown started.
McGuinness said: “Many businesses across London and the Square Mile will be breathing a collective sigh of relief now that they will be able to trade in the run up to Christmas as a result of this decision."
But McGuinness added: “That said, as we look to the new year, firms in the City urgently need clarity on when office workers can return to Covid-secure workplaces. This is vital in order to get as much of the economy operating as possible and protect livelihoods. We also need a thriving economy to help pay for the vast amount of support being provided at this time.”
Landlords were left disappointed this week about the lack of a return to offices proposal in the government’s Covid-19 winter plan, as numerous central London headquarters remain severely under occupied.
Guidance set out this week “encourages employers to enable a greater degree of home working”, and the government wants people to work from home where they can.
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