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Worcestershire council defends plans for homeworking scheme

Cost savings and an improved work/life balance for employees are the aims behind one local authority's plans to introduce homeworking, it has emerged.

Representatives for Wyre Forest District Council in Worcestershire say they want to boost "operational efficiency" through the initiative, with employees given the choice whether to make the switch from their usual routine to mobile or flexible working.

In response to criticism that the homeworking scheme has been "badly thought out" at a time of cash-strapped council finances and the ongoing threat of redundancies, local authority leader John Campion told local newspaper the Kidderminster Shuttle that the initiative would make £4 million of planned savings "as painless as possible".

"If we are to do this by better ways of working, then that is a good thing, not a bad thing," he continued. "Our projected budgets show that the benefits outweigh the costs by some distance and it's important to recognise that our employees will benefit in terms of work/life balance."

As part of the homeworking scheme, the council will make managed contributions towards the electricity bills and broadband connections of employees who decide to avail of the opportunity to work from home.

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