26 September 2023

UNITED KINGDOM: Minister calls for flexitime probe

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United Kingdom Minister for Government Efficiency, Jacob Rees-Mogg has maintained his drumbeat of attacks on the Public Service, calling for an audit of flexitime arrangements and describing training courses as “woke folderol”.

Mr Rees-Mogg (pictured) claimed flexitime was keeping officers away from the office where they did their best work.

“I have already encouraged Civil Servants to come back to the office instead of working from home, with improvements across Whitehall as a result,” Mr Rees-Mogg said.

“Working around others is good for everyone and will mean more job satisfaction,” he said.

“That is why I am asking the Cabinet Office to report on the extent of flexitime and asking Secretaries of State to do the same in their Departments.”

The Minister’s comments came shortly after he slammed wellness and diversity courses as “ridiculous” and “woke folderol”.

Mr Rees-Mogg said he was reviewing courses offered to Public Servants in an effort to improve learning and development, “so that people learn practical skills that deliver better services”.

“What we want people to do is to learn how to be good fraud investigators, which is an area I have some responsibility for, or how to be good commercial negotiators,” he said.

“We need focused learning and development that improves service delivery, not this woke folderol.”

A Cabinet Office spokesperson said the vast majority of Public Servants did not have flexitime working agreements.

“However, such arrangements allow the Civil Service to attract a range of talented and capable people who may have caring responsibilities or disabilities,” the spokesperson said.

“These arrangements always go through strict approval processes.”

London, 9 August 2022

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