The Commons Leader, who handily lives a five-minute walk from his workplace, reignited the row over Tory ministers’ attempts to get reluctant firms and workers back behind desks
Labour blasted top Tory Jacob Rees-Mogg today after he suggested any “ambitious, driven” Brits should stop working from home.
The Commons Leader, whose £5m house is a five-minute walk from Parliament, reignited the row over Tory ministers demanding employees get back to their desks.
Boris Johnson was forced to abandon a “back-to-work” drive last summer after barely any firms took part while the virus surged.
Since then many firms have changed their working practices permanently, as workers demand a more flexible approach.
But Tory ministers are pushing for Brits to get back to their desks to help keep inner-city shops, pubs and restaurants afloat.
That is despite unions urging them to adopt more flexible working into the future, allowing workers to choose for themselves.
Mr Rees-Mogg told the Sun on Sunday: “Any ambitious, driven person would want to be in work.
“People in senior positions ought to be aware of those who have been working throughout and should be grateful and recognise that being at work is important.
“That doesn’t mean people aren’t doing anything when they are at home but, certainly, being an MP is done better when you are present to hold the Government to account and stand up for your constituents.
“If you are in a leadership role you ought to lead by example.”
Labour’s deputy leader Angela Rayner, the Shadow Future of Work Secretary, said: “This is an insult to the millions of working people who have worked effectively from home throughout this pandemic.
“ Jacob Rees-Mogg should check the manifesto that he was elected on in 2019 which committed the Government to flexible working.
“The Government’s failure to recognise the benefits that flexible working can deliver to workers and employers alike shows how out of touch they are.
“Work should fit around our lives instead of dictating our lives, based on the right to flexible working for all workers.”
It comes after video emerged of a 12-year-old Mr Rees-Mogg in 1982, saying “I love money, always have done” and mapping out his plan to be Prime Minister by the age of 70.
He wore a ‘love Thatcher’ badge while telling an interviewer: “Why because you need money, and with money you can make more money and if you’ve got money you can buy things that you want. I could buy this Rolls Royce – something like that, lovely.”
French National Audiovisual Institute)
Since July 19 the Government is no longer instructing people to work from home in England. Guidance says the government “expects and recommends a gradual return over the summer”, but many firms and some individual workers have been reluctant to return to the status quo.
Mr Rees-Mogg’s comments echo those by Rishi Sunak, who said young people should return to desks if they want to get on.
The Chancellor said earlier this month: “I have spoken previously about young people in particular benefiting from being in offices.
“It was really beneficial to me when I was starting out in my career.”
He added: “I doubt I would have had those strong relationships if I was doing my summer internship or my first bit of my career over Teams and Zoom.
“And that’s why I think for young people in particular being able to physically be in an office is valuable.”