‘Where’s the value to the taxpayer?’: Data shows 90% of Welsh government employees still work from home
- The Labour-led government will now offer its office space to public sector workers
- But the Welsh Tories said officials should ensure that taxpayers’ money is not wasted
- Leader Andrew RT Davies asked if entire floors would be heated for just a few workers
- Union boss said ‘pandemic has permanently changed world of work’
About nine in ten Welsh civil servants are still working from home, it was found yesterday.
The Labor-led Welsh government will now offer office space to other public sector workers. This will ensure that taxpayer-funded buildings are put to good use and “maximize the benefits of office work, remote working and hybrid working,” a spokesman said.
But the Welsh Conservatives said more should be done to ensure taxpayers’ money isn’t wasted heating nearly empty office blocks.
A general view of the Welsh Government headquarters in Cathays Park, Cardiff in January 2021
In September, 10.4 per cent of staff went to Welsh government offices on a daily basis – an average of 549 out of more than 5,200 staff. The Welsh government said this had risen to 11 per cent in October.
Welsh Tory leader Andrew RT Davies asked that entire floors be heated for just a few workers.
He added: ‘We have exceptional facilities for our civil servants to work in.
“If they are not used, where is the value for money for the taxpayer?”
Gareth Hills, National Officer of the FDA Cymru Wales Civil Service Union, said the current number of staff working from home shows that ‘the pandemic has changed the world of work and I think that change is permanent’.
“We are seeing more hybrid working and that could mean even more savings for taxpayers because less office space is needed,” he added.
It comes after huge backlogs built up at the DVLA, which is headquartered in Swansea, South West Wales, partly due to remote working during the pandemic.
Tens of thousands of drivers had to wait months for documents when they sent them by mail.