The next in a very long line of confusing and conflicting advice from the government is likely to be “go back to work,” according to ITV News.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson made some comments on Friday that suggested we might be nearing the end of the work from home era, and a spokesperson for Number 10 has confirmed that the guidance is now being reviewed.
In the same Q&A session where Johnson hinted he’d be making masks compulsory in shops – which he has since done – the PM said:
“I think everybody has sort of taken the ‘stay at home if you can’ [approach] – I think we should now say, well, ‘go back to work if you can.’
I think it’s very important that people should try to lead their lives more normally.”
Obviously, this is clear as mud. What does “if you can” mean? If you physically can? If you can face your terrible boss? If your workplace is technically open but you’re still not entirely sure it’s safe?
A spokesperson for Downing Street added:
“What the advice says is that employers should decide in consultation with their workers whether it is viable for them to continue working from home.
Where it is decided that workers should come in to their place of work, then this will need to be reflected in the risk assessment and actions taken to manage to risk of transmission.”
They then went on to say that “the guidance we have is under review but it does say employers and employees should discuss and agree working arrangements to best suit the needs of the business.”
Get that? The needs of the business. Not the needs of your lungs, or your elderly relatives, or your immunocompromised housemate. Business comes first, folks!
Just to be even clearer, Justice Secretary Robert Buckland told ITV news that “the guidance is work from home if you can,” then added seconds later, “the message is yes, come back to work.”
That’s that cleared up, then.
Main image: 10 Downing Street
Send your news and stories to us email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org and WhatsApp: +447747873668.
Before you go...
Democratic norms are being stress-tested all over the world, and the past few years have thrown up all kinds of questions we didn't know needed clarifying – how long is too long for a parliamentary prorogation? How far should politicians be allowed to intervene in court cases? To monitor these issues as closely as we have in the past we need your support, so please consider donating to The Climax News Room.