Hampshire County Council staff are reportedly being allowed to work from home up to four days a week.
Staff are being allowed to work from home up to four days a week – and ministers cannot force them back to their desks, according to a media report.
It’s claimed an audit has identified dozens of local authorities that have started ‘smarter working’ policies that mean employees can spend most of their time at home.
Around 100 of the biggest councils in England if they had developed new working practices and how much time staff had to be in the office.
Of the 25 that replied saying they allowed or encouraged more flexible working, two said they only required staff to go in one day a week. Another five said two days, and two asked for a 50-50 split.
Hampshire County Council, which put taxes up by 2.99 per cent this year, said: “While each department adopts a bespoke approach to hybrid working depending on service requirements, in the main, staff are required to be office-based a minimum of 20 per cent per week.”
John O’Connell, of the TaxPayers’ Alliance, said: “Residents fed up with colossal council tax bills and bumper pay rises for staff will be doubly disappointed to find out they’re paying a small fortune to bankroll these barren buildings.
“If flexible working is to stay, council officials should be moved out and the savings passed on to hard-pressed residents.”
There are fears that the increase in staff permanently working from home could lead to the closure of businesses that previously relied on trade from council employees before the pandemic.