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Wednesday 05 August 2020

Penman slams “ignorant and nasty” Mail piece on ‘workshy Whitehall’

John Wellings

FDA General Secretary Dave Penman has responded angrily to an article in the Daily Mail, which refers to “workshy” civil servants who are “wrecking the economy” by not returning to their places of work.

Penman points out that the “ignorant and nasty diatribe… conveniently ignores the City of London and Canary Wharf, bastions of private sector efficiency where greater numbers are working effectively from home”.

The Mail article accuses civil servants of not showing “the Blitz spirt” and “using the virus as an excuse to work from home indefinitely”, stating that they need to “stop hiding on their sofas and return to their desks”.

Penman told BBC News that “to suggest that civil servants are workshy is grossly offensive and insulting, and completely ignores the fact that our civil service has been performing incredibly effectively during this pandemic. Designing and implementing the furlough scheme and processing a six-fold increase in universal credit claims – all while transforming into a home-based organisation overnight – is a perfect example of the blitz spirit, despite what detractors might say.

“Public servants, who have never worked harder than over the last few months, deserve better than these petty, lazy attacks. Their job is to provide vital public services, not provide customers to sandwich shops,” Penman added.

“The world of work was already changing and COVID-19 has simply accelerated that change. The government must recognise that more and more people are now able to work effectively from home and allow the civil service to manage this transition.”

10th Dec 2020
General Secretary Dave Penman explains why the FDA has now begun the legal process which may ultimately result in a Judicial Review application, following the Prime Minister’s decision that the Home Secretary did not breach the Ministerial Code.
1st Dec 2020
HMRC Chief Executive Jim Harra on his department’s extraordinary response to the Covid-19 pandemic.
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