The key public services hit by Covid delays and working from home

The British are facing delays in processing important documents such as passports and driver’s licenses, with many officials still working from home.

The government has encouraged workers to return to their offices, but some have defied this advice and put pressure on key public services.

While the official work of the home counseling was suspended on July 19, many workers were reluctant to return to their offices. Of the approximately 484,000 government employees, around 21 percent work in London, with each department making its own decisions about flexible working arrangements.

READ MORE: Millions of employees could still work from home

John O’Connell of the TaxPayers ’Alliance said MailOnline : “With taxes at the highest levels in 70 years, it would be deeply unfair for taxpayers if the standard of services were to fall due to the Whitehall work-from-home revolution.”

Some key departments are affected.

Delays in driving license

Strikes and social distancing rules have resulted in the Driver’s License Agency (DVLA) still processing driver license renewals received in June.

Industrial action by the Public and Commercial Services Union has added to the backlog, which means there are around 1.4 million licenses waiting to be processed.

Both the practical driving tests and the theory tests were suspended from January due to restrictions, but resumed in July, there are still some delays.

Passport applications and extensions

People have been advised that they may have to wait longer than usual. Guidelines have been issued to allow applicants to plan their trip and ensure they have enough time to renew their passports.

The Home Office said it “is currently issuing renewals online within the published timeframe”.

A spokesman previously said: “Since the pandemic began, over 4.5 million people have delayed applying for passports. This means that the potential demand for passport is higher than ever and passport processing times can change rapidly. We have therefore been advising applicants since April to wait up to 10 weeks before receiving their passport. “

READ MORE: A four day weekly schedule could be tested in England

Criminal records checks for jobs

Job seekers have faced delays with the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS), which carries out reviews for employers who require a criminal records check in jobs like police, correctional services, nursing and schools.

The DBS, which runs the audits for employers, reportedly admitted that working from home “tested our ability” to meet demand during the lockdown, with basic exams taking longer to complete.

Some teachers or caregivers who need increased screening because they work with children have claimed delays have forced them to avail of universal loans.

Will and inheritance

Families and relatives have to wait three times longer than usual for the estate to be settled after a death.

Person doing paperwork

A government spokesman said: “We have hired additional staff to meet the unprecedented demand during the pandemic, and online estate applications are now being approved in less than a week.”

Plan applications

Architects have reported delays in processing building applications due to slowdowns in some planning departments administered by the city.

Mortgage companies also complain of delays in processing local property searches – a requirement for most lenders as real estate agents claim that robberies cause home sales to fail.

According to an employee survey by the Local Government Association, around 57 percent of the councilors said they did not “work normally”.


Until February, there were delays in disbursing discounts with some cash. The latest figures from HMRC show that 35.5 percent of 4.5 million mail items were processed within the 15-day target.

A spokesman for HMRC denied that the discount delays had anything to do with employees working from home.

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