JP Morgan has “paused” its plans to bring more people back to the office following the government’s latest coronavirus restrictions.

Boris Johnson has told people to work at home if they can, just weeks after proclaiming that a growing number of people were returning to workplaces.

JP Morgan, which had brought around 30 per cent of its 4,000 Bournemouth staff back to its Chaseside office, has put the process on hold.

A memo to staff, from a task force responsible for the return to the office, said: “In recent weeks, selected groups of employees have begun returning to the office gradually, often on a rotational basis, while the majority have been working from home.

"Following the UK government’s announcement of additional restrictions and guidance, we have decided to pause on further increasing the number of people in our UK offices.

“Each of our businesses will continue to determine the right amount of people that are needed in the office at any one time to remain effective, taking into account government guidance.”

Offices remain open to staff who need to use them on an “ad hoc basis”, with enhanced cleaning, temperature screening in lobbies and compulsory mask-wearing in areas where social distancing is not possible.

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Which big Dorset employers are carrying on working from home

Several other major Dorset employers still have the majority of staff at home.

Poole-based Lush said: “Our decision throughout the pandemic has always been to abide by government advice and play our part in the battle to keep infection down and help the NHS cope. Throughout the different stages of the pandemic, staff whose roles can be carried out from home have been allowed to do so.

“We have opened our offices now and are flexible for staff to come and go, purely for those whose circumstances mean they can't work from home. Our key workers making products and despatching parcels to our customers have of course worked on site throughout the pandemic - protecting them, and other key workers, by complying with all advice is our main priority.”

Nationwide Building Society, which employs around 1,200 people locally, said: “The majority of our Bournemouth based colleagues are working from home and will continue to do so. We continue to monitor the situation closely and are well prepared to continue to support members and colleagues in light of changing government advice.” 

Barclays, which has around 1,000 local staff, still has the majority working at home. It said it would continue to follow government advice.