Sadiq Khan brands campaign to get workers back to the office 'offensive'

Mayor Sadiq Khan criticised the suggestion that employees should go back to their offices to be productive

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan has said it is "really offensive" to suggest people working from home during the pandemic are not as productive as those in an office, and called on the Government to "get a grip" of the crisis.

Mr Khan made the comments while with a group of 80 key workers invited to play tennis at Wimbledon as part of efforts to thank them for their work during the height of the pandemic.

Sadiq Khan rallied with key workers at Wimbledon Credit: PA

The mayor criticised recent suggestions that employees should stop working from home and go back to their offices to be productive.

Those Londoners who have been working from home have been working. I think it's really offensive to suggest those working from home haven't been working, they've somehow been lazy - it's not the case. They've been following the advice, which is to avoid the virus spreading, work from home where it's possible to do so, avoid public transport, particularly during the rush hour.

Sadiq Khan, Mayor of London

Downing Street has denied the existence of a Government "back to work" campaign but said employers are to be reminded how to make workplaces Covid-safe in a bid to increase office numbers.

More than 65% of Britons overwhelmingly agree that employers should be more flexible about working from home. Credit: PA

Figures from the Office for National Statistics have suggested an increase in people travelling to work in the last two months, with fewer working exclusively from home.

The mayor added that while employers should have made reasonable adjustments to make workplaces safe for staff, social distancing requirements will mean not all employees will be able to return.

Commuters in Waterloo station

Mr Khan visited Wimbledon on Friday as the All England Lawn Tennis Club (AELTC) invited staff from the NHS, London Ambulance Service and Transport for London who were nominated for the Rally Together programme organised by City Hall and Wimbledon.

Sadiq Khan rallied with key workers at Wimbledon Credit: PA

Over two days at the prestigious venue, the nominees will play on the championship fields as well as receiving a tour of the usually private grounds, to thank them for their service.

Mayor Sadiq Khan plays tennis with key workers at Wimbledon Credit: PA