TWENTY thousand employees at media giant Bloomberg will be paid £55 a day EXTRA to return to the office.
The company told employees on Friday that the cash offer would help to address virus health and safety fears as the government encourages workers to get back to their desks.
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The company’s offer includes 4,000 staff based in their £1.3bn London office in the heart of the City.
Much of Central London has become a ghost town as the coronavirus lockdown left offices empty and the vast majority of employees working from home.
Bloomberg has not made it clear how many days a week they are expecting staff to return, but said in an email seen by the Sunday Times that safety remained their “number one objective”.
It read: “As more employees return to our offices, our number one objective over the past several months has been working to mitigate any concerns over health and safety, while also soliciting feedback on challenges employees are facing”.
Other large companies in the area, include the Bank of England, are continuing with work from home policies.
The Bank’s senior official Alex Brazier, told MPs at the Treasury select committee last week: “I feel safe coming to work, but I quite understand why many people might not.”
It comes amidst a growing row between Downing Street and the FDA union, which represents civil servants, over a planned return to offices for most civil servants.
Dave Penman, the FDA leader, has accused the government of “virtue signalling” to the private sector following a demand that 80% of civil servants get back to their desks by the end of the month.
Fears are growing that many businesses that rely on office workers and commuters, such as cafes and shops in major transport hubs, could go bust should footfall remain low in inner cities.
But figures from the Office for National Statistics show a steady increase in the amount of people heading back to the office.
Last week, the ONS said that the proportion of people working from home exclusively had halved from 38% at the peak in mid-June to just 20% in the last week of August.
And stats released on September 4 found that 57% of working adults in the UK reported travelling to work (either exclusively or in combination with working from home) in the past week, while 20% worked only at home.
However, just one in seven firms is expected to bring the majority of staff back to the office in the near future.
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