Britain will 'go down the plughole' without major push to get staff back in offices, says Iain Duncan Smith

BRITAIN will “go down the plughole” without a major push to get staff back in offices, business leaders have been warned.

Employees must return to pre-Covid working patterns to save struggling retail and hospitality, ex-Tory leader Iain Duncan Smith says.

He claims the young and low-paid are hardest hit and points out office working is good for productivity, the creation of ideas and employees’ mental health.

Fearing for city and town centre bars, restaurants and coffee shops, he said: “Many of these industries depend on people being back.

“The people who lose out from this will be the young people.

"If people continue to fear Covid even after the vaccination programme and the vast majority don’t return, the country will go down the plughole.”

The Sun on Sunday visited businesses in the capital and Manchester to determine how livelihoods were affected.

Cafés, hairdressing salons and shops have all been hit hard by people staying at home, with many saying they are close to collapse.

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