The CIPP's Quick Poll: More employers are making a return to the standard workplace mandatory as opposed to optional

17 July 2020

To reflect the fact that, as lockdown gradually eases, more and more employers are beginning to bring employees back into their ordinary workplaces, the CIPP’s Policy and Research team wanted to gauge the basis on which this return was being actioned.

There are still employees who are concerned about the risks posed by coronavirus as they return to their standard place of work, particularly those who have to commute using public transport. In response to this, on our News Online page, we posed the question, “Is your employer treating a return to the workplace as being….?”

Dependent on individual circumstances: 32%

Compulsory: 24%

No intentions to return to the workplace, and work will be performed remotely: 18%

Optional: 13%

Nothing confirmed as yet: 13%

The most popular response highlighted the fact that the return to the workplace was being actioned with considerations based on the individual circumstances of employees, meaning that some employees were being bought back into the normal workplace, whereas others would still remain on furlough, or continue to work remotely.

The remaining results were mixed, but more respondents confirmed that the return was being treated as a compulsory move at 24%, with only 13% stating that the return was optional.

In line with many news reports that have been published over the past few weeks and months, the results of the Quick Poll do suggest that significantly higher numbers of staff could continue to work remotely on a permanent basis, as 18% selected this option.

13% revealed that nothing had been confirmed at the time of their response to the Quick Poll, and that they were still awaiting news on their employer’s plans for the future.


The information in this article is accurate at the time of publication. For all the latest information, news and resources on how the COVID-19 pandemic is affecting payroll professions, visit our Coronavirus hub.