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Employees more likely to trust employers’ return to work plans than government guidance

One in five UK employees have said that they don’t trust the government’s return to work advice at all compared to one in 10 people who distrust their employer’s decisions about going back to the workplace.

According to the survey from data and insights firm Dynata, 5% of UK workers trust their employers’ judgement totally, and 14% trust it a lot. By comparison, national leaders and politicians earned the highest distrust of all sources in the UK, as 20% of respondents said they don’t trust them at all.

Healthcare professionals came out on top as the most trusted source for information - 14% of UK respondents said they trust them totally, and 26% said they trust them a lot. The same was true on a global level, as 56% of all survey respondents said they either trust healthcare professionals ‘totally’ or ‘a lot.’

Speaking to HR magazine Andrew O’Connell, managing director, UK for Dynata, said: “Our research shows that, both in the UK and globally, people have lower levels of trust in the advice of their governments or employers as reliable sources of information on the pandemic. The source they most trust is healthcare professionals, and that has been consistent throughout all of our surveying during COVID-19.

“It seems the road back to people feeling safe returning to work likely will be driven by the advice and opinions of those healthcare professionals on the front lines of the pandemic.”

Dynata's findings precede the latest recommendations for returning to work which has seen the government criticised for conflicting messages.

In The People’s PMQs on 10 July, prime minister Boris Johnson said that he would like to see “more people feeling confident to use the shops, use the restaurants and get back into work.” However, the official guidance on returning to work maintains that employers should support staff in remote working plans where possible.

The survey from Dynata is based on the responses of 7,000 people, including 1,000 respondents in the UK, and was taken in the week beginning 6 July 2020.

Further reading:

Workers encouraged to return to work where possible

24.4 million could return to work in first phase out of lockdown

Employees will need preventative measures to return to work

Addressing anxiety on employees' return to work

Majority of UK workers say they work effectively from home