Almost 3,000 members of the Armed Forces are still working from home, more than a year after the final Covid restrictions were scrapped.
In total, 2,832 troops from across Britain’s armed services are enjoying flexible working arrangements, figures obtained by The Mail On Sunday have revealed.
The MoD has been actively trying to give its service personnel more freedom, with everyone eligible to ask for changes in their work patterns. Troops can work at home for up to 30 days on an informal basis – and they don’t have to give commanding officers a reason why they want to do so when applying.
However, top brass say even when working from home, personnel are still liable to be deployed at short notice. Nor will those in vital front-line or other operational posts have their applications approved.
Figures released following a Freedom of Information request show that in 2020 when the Covid pandemic was at its peak, 21,733 personnel were working from home, around 12.5 per cent of the Armed Forces. In 2021, 9,171 troops had taken up some form of remote or flexible working. Last year, the figure was 3,966.
In total, 2,832 troops from across Britain’s armed services are enjoying flexible working arrangements
Vice Admiral Phil Hally, Chief of Defence People, explained in a document about flexible working: ‘Work isn’t a place; it’s something we do. We continue to develop our flexible working offer to ensure it is fit for our people.
‘I’m proud of the work we have all done to mature the Armed Forces’ flexible working offer. Thousands of service personnel now enter formal flexible working arrangements each year and hundreds have worked part-time.’
The MoD is now actively recruiting staff on salaries up to £100,000 with one of the main benefits being that they can work from home.
Concessions available to troops include working a four-day week, job sharing and reducing their working hours by up to 40 per cent. Such measures were introduced to encourage personnel not to quit their jobs following complaints about working conditions.
The MoD is now actively recruiting staff on salaries up to £100,000 with one of the main benefits being that they can work from home
Today’s figures come as Ministers are drawing up plans to force civil servants back to their desks. New guidelines are expected to limit remote working to one day a week to boost productivity.
The MoD said: ‘We are grateful and proud of those who are ready to serve anywhere in the world to ensure the MoD meets all its operational responsibilities.
‘We are clear about the benefits of face-to-face working, and the department is committed to having staff working in offices at pre- pandemic levels.’
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