Jacob Rees-Mogg has been leaving notes at the desks of civil servants after telling them to get back into the office earlier this week.
An image circulating online of the note allegedly left by the Minister for Brexit Opportunities and Government Efficiency reads: “Sorry you were out when I visited.
“I look forward to seeing you in the office very soon.
“With every good wish, Rt Hon. Jacob Rees-Mogg M.P.”
Minister for Brexit Opportunities Jacob Rees-Mogg speaking during the Conservative Party Spring Forum at Winter Gardens, Blackpool. Picture date: Friday March 18, 2022. Peter Byrne
Unions reacted with anger earlier this week when Mr. Rees-Mogg issued a call for the “rapid return” of civil servants to their Whitehall desks.
In a letter to Cabinet ministers, Mr Rees-Mogg said they needed to issue a “clear message” to their departments that with the end of Covid restrictions in England, officials should be back in the office.
He argued that ending working from home would bring the benefits of “face-to-face, collaborative working” as well as delivering wider benefits for the economy.
But the move was branded “vindictive” by Dave Penman, the general secretary of the FDA representing senior civil servants, who said ministers were out of step with practice in the private sector.
With up to three-quarters of staff still reportedly working from home, Mr Rees-Mogg accompanied his letter with a league table showing how many staff in each Government department were attending the office on an average day.
A Government spokesman said: “Ministers have been clear that departments should make maximum use of office space and progress is being monitored.”