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Departments: Homeworking

Volume 461: debated on Thursday 21 June 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development how many people in his Department have been allowed to work from home for part of the week in the last 12 months; and if he will make a statement on his Department's policy on home working. (143880)

DFID does not keep records of the number of home workers.

However, DFID operates a ‘one machine’ policy under which each member of staff chooses to be equipped with either a desktop computer or, subject to the approval of their Head of Department, a laptop computer. The laptop option enables staff to work from home or at other remote locations while travelling on behalf of the Department. Currently, 1,750 staff have been issued with laptops.

DFID is committed to improving work/life balance and accommodates a wide range of different work patterns including the use of home and remote working. DFID’s policy is set out both in the staff handbook, which is available to all staff electronically, and in two booklets, “Flexible Working”, and “Remote Working” which staff receive on appointment. In a recent management survey, 84 per cent. of staff strongly believed that their line managers actively support flexible working.