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Reach confirms journalists to stay at home despite PM’s speech

MullenThe UK’s biggest regional publisher has reaffirmed its commitment to home working until at least July despite new government advice encouraging people back to work.

Most Reach plc staff have been working from home since mid-March when the coronavirus pandemic began to take hold.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced on Sunday that people should be “actively encouraged” to return to work from Wednesday, if they are unable to work from home.

But Reach chief executive Jim Mullen, pictured, has confirmed in an email to staff that the company will not be changing its working arrangements, and that its journalists will be able to continue to work remotely.

A Reach spokeswoman told HTFP: “The whole Reach team and all of its titles have done a brilliant job pulling together during this pandemic and rapidly changing to adapt to a new way of working.

“As we announced in April, our plan is still to review these changes in July and to update everyone then.”

The move has been welcomed by Wales Online rugby correspondent Simon Thomas, who posted about it on Twitter.

He wrote: “Delighted to receive an email from the CEO of my employers – Reach – confirming there will be no change to working arrangements. “’We’re stable and our people are safe, so we’ll stay as we are.’ Well done.”

HTFP has also approached fellow publishers JPIMedia and Newsquest for confirmation on whether they have made any changes to home working policy as a result of the Prime Minister’s announcement.