Tuesday 7 September 2021 6:07 pm

Bank of England denies it's U-turned on return to work policy

The Bank England today said it has not abandoned plans to bring staff back to the office.

Threadneedle Street came under fire after reports surfaced that staff had been told they could continue working from home for the time being. 

However, the Bank of England said today it had not U-turned on its return to the office but was being mindful of the health concerns of staff.

It had told staff in July that from September, they would be asked to work in the office at least one day a week.

In a statement, the Bank said it was not right to say it had “abandoned plans for staff who have not already returned to the office to begin doing so.”

Thecentral bank’s return to office programme will move to a new phase next week with initiatives including modifications to office space and continued enhanced ventilation and cleaning.  

Staff will be expected to be physically present in the workplace “at least one day a week and generally more.”

“What has changed is that we don’t feel the moment is yet right for us to require our staff to return to the office where, for a number of reasons, some might in the current environment have genuine and valid health concerns about doing so,” the statement added.

This approach would be kept under close review “with a view to making the expectation a requirement as the situation evolves.”

Around a quarter of staff worked in the bank’s central London offices at least once last week while its Leeds and Debden sites have already returned to pre-pandemic occupancy rates.