Five blunders caused by civil servants working from home

4. Passport delays have forced holidaymakers to abandon trips

Holidaymakers have had to cancel trips abroad because of delays in the processing of passport applications. 

Anyone who applies to renew their passport has been advised to allow up to 10 weeks, more than three times the period needed before coronavirus. Almost five million people delayed applying for a British passport in 2020 and 2021, according to the Post Office, which blamed a sudden surge in demand. 

Figures obtained by The Telegraph have shown that the number of passports to have gone missing in the post has doubled in less than a year. Some applicants have been left waiting months for their documents. 

Those forced to wait longer for their passport have said they have missed job opportunities, holidays and even funerals abroad. 

5. Criminal record checks slide

Waiting times for criminal record checks on public sector applicants more than doubled after the Home Office allowed its employees to work from home. 

The Disclosure & Barring Service, which is used by companies to weed out applicants with a criminal record, said remote working had “tested our ability” to hit targets amid a surge in demand for its services.

Private sector employers suffered from the backlogs. Firms that operate in the “gig economy”, such as Deliveroo, Just Eat and Uber, rely on the DBS to check new staff for previous convictions. Some hired extra workers to cope with surging demand for takeaways during the pandemic.

Have you experienced poor customer service from government departments since Britain’s first lockdown? Let us know in the comments section below 

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