Pimlico Plumbers founder blasts parents working from home slamming them as dole scroungers

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The Pimlico Plumbers boss believes making people work from home during the coronavirus pandemic has been the Government’s “biggest mistake since the war”, blasting the decision as “stupid” and “absolutely crazy”.

The company founder believes the Government’s failure to get employees back into the office is “destroying the economy” and that the effect is not only causing “mental health problems” – but also compromising the future of the generations to come.

Mr Mullins said people think “they’re entitled to stay home”, which costs “billions” and sends out “the wrong message”.

In a candid Mail on Sunday interview, Mr Mullins asked: “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 so that’s what I’ll do’?”

He continued: “It’s like when parents are on benefits and capable of going to work…

“The kids say, ‘I’ll do that too’.

“You’ve got to break the cycle.”

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Charlie Mullins

Pimlico Plumbers founder Charlie Mullins called WFH a ‘stupid’ idea that the government will regret (Image: Getty)

Mr Mullins, who founded Pimlico Plumbers in 1979 and sold it to a US group for £145 million in October, accused ministers of laying the ground for a shift to permanent home working.

He said: “They say some people will never go back into the workplace.

“You incentivise people to come to work, you don’t give them an incentive to stay at home.”

The entrepreneur, a former Tory donor, urged the Government to “look at the backlash” of WFH policies.

But many seem to disagree with his view, sharing their thoughts on Twitter.

Paul Kelly wrote: “What a load of rubbish.

Man on a video call while working from home

Working from home, Mr Mullins said, is ‘destroying the economy’ and setting a bad example for kids (Image: Getty)

“I WFH, I work hard, my son sees me working hard and he wouldn’t if I was in the office.

“I get to eat better, go for a run on my lunch and spend my money on my local economy.

“WFH revolution is here.”

Claire Lock added: “Working is working.

“It all depends on your job, some can’t be done from home but some can.

“If that works best, then what does it matter?”

Alex Acteson commented: “It seems to be forgotten that WFH was put in place for a reason.

“People go to work to live, not to die.”

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UK coronavirus map

A case overview for the UK (Image: Daily Express)

And Simon Jennings said: “Utter rubbish!!

“Office working is going the same way as dinosaurs and video stores.”

Last year, Mr Mullin announced he had fired several of his staff members who refused to return to work after the company stopped using the Government furlough scheme. He also urged other companies to do the same.

His comments come amid speculation of a winter lockdown and as fears rise that millions of workers might again be asked to stay at home to stop the spread of COVID-19.

Meanwhile, the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage) is saying the Government should be ready for “rapid deployment” of stricter restrictions and warned “presenteeism” — the pressure to be in the workplace — could become increasingly problematic in halting the spread of the virus.

Boris Johnson said the Government would do “whatever we have to do to protect the public” but assured figures are “in line” with their “autumn and winter plan”.

Chancellor Rishi Sunak agreed current data did not suggest “immediately moving [from plan A] to Plan B” was necessary.

But Labour is calling on them to bring in Plan B measures — which include advice to work from home — to tackle the coronavirus in England.

Shadow chancellor Rachel Reeves said on BBC One’s Andrew Marr Show: “If the scientists are saying work from home and masks, we should do that.”

With Covid hospital admissions and deaths across the UK rising gradually and more than 40,000 new daily recorded Covid cases for the past ten days, scientists are describing “waning immunity and people’s behaviour” as a potential issue in the weeks and months to come.

Though ministers are resisting, Sage’s comments suggest working from home could be, to Mr Mullins’ disappointment, on the cards again this winter.

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