‘They’re as bad as dole scroungers’: Business tycoon claims parents who work from home are as bad as benefits cheats – and says it sends ‘the wrong message’ to children
A business tycoon says parents who work from home send the wrong message to their children – just like people who claim benefits when they are capable of working.
Pimlico Plumbers founder Charlie Mullins – a former Tory donor – says the Government has made the ‘biggest mistake since the war’ by telling employees to work from home during the pandemic and then failing to get them back to offices.
He says the shift to home working is already ‘destroying the economy’ and will have a devastating knock-on effect for generations to come.
Pimlico Plumbers founder Charlie Mullins – a former Tory donor – says the Government has made the ‘biggest mistake since the war’
In an outspoken Mail on Sunday interview, Mr Mullins says: ‘What a stupid idea [working from home] was – I mean absolutely crazy. Now look at the backlash – mental health problems, people don’t want to go to work, thinking they’re entitled to stay home.
‘It’s sent out the wrong message and cost billions. They say some people will never go back into the workplace.
‘Are they not aware that when youths leave school now they’re never going to go and work in their life because the culture is, “Well my mum or dad work from home that’s what I’ll do”? You’ve got to break the cycle.
‘Otherwise it’s like when parents are on benefits and capable of going to work, and the kids say, “I’ll do that too.” ’
The millionaire’s forthright intervention comes as fears rise that millions of employees might again be asked to work from home to halt the spread of Covid.
Mr Mullins says: ‘You incentivise people to come to work, you don’t give them an incentive to stay at home’
But Mr Mullins, who founded Pimlico Plumbers in 1979 and sold it to a US group for £145 million last month, warns that Ministers will regret laying the ground for a shift to permanent home working.
The MoS revealed earlier this month that senior Cabinet Ministers believed the work-from-home culture in Whitehall left Britons at the mercy of the Taliban in Afghanistan because civil servants did not have access to vital documents.
Mr Mullins says: ‘You incentivise people to come to work, you don’t give them an incentive to stay at home.’