'Where's the taxpayer value?': 90% of Welsh government staff still WFH

‘Where’s the value for the taxpayer?’: Data reveals 90% of Welsh government staff are still working from home

  • Labour-led government will now offer its office space to public sector workers
  • But Welsh Tories said officials must ensure taxpayers’ money isn’t wasted
  • Leader Andrew RT Davies asked if entire floors are heated for just a few workers
  • Union boss said ‘pandemic has changed the world of work’ permanently

Around nine in ten Welsh government staff are still working from home, it emerged yesterday.

The Labour-led Welsh government will now offer office space to other public sector workers. This will ensure taxpayer-funded buildings are put to good use and ‘maximise the benefits of office, remote and hybrid working’, a spokesman said.

But the Welsh Conservatives said more should be coming in to ensure taxpayers’ money is not wasted on heating near-empty office buildings.

A general view of Welsh Government HQ in Cathays Park, Cardiff in January 2021

In September, 10.4 per cent of staff went to Welsh government offices daily – an average of 549 staff out of more than 5,200. The Welsh government said this rose to 11 per cent in October.

Welsh Tory leader Andrew RT Davies asked whether entire floors were being heated for just a few workers.

He added: ‘We have exceptional facilities for our public servants to work in.

‘If they are not being used, where is the value for money for the taxpayer?’

Gareth Hills, national officer of the civil service union FDA Cymru Wales, said the current number of staff working from home showed that ‘the pandemic has changed the world of work and I think that change is permanent’.

‘We’re seeing increased hybrid working and that can allow for even more savings for the taxpayer as less office space is needed,’ he added.

It comes after huge backlogs built up at the DVLA, which has its headquarters in Swansea, south-west Wales, partly due to remote-working during the pandemic.

Tens of thousands of drivers were forced to wait months for documents if they sent them by post.

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