A BUSINESS chief in Dorset has spoken about the difficulties facing companies after the government made a U-turn on its advice and reverted to encouraging people to work from home if they can.

But Ian Girling, Dorset Chamber of Commerce's chief executive, said he had faith in the 'resilience' of county businesses and their ability to adapt to a 'national emergency'.

The new home working guidance was issued just weeks after Prime Minister Boris Johnson urged people to return to their workplaces if safe to do so.

Mr Girling said he agreed with the advice as a necessary step to help prevent the spread of Covid-19, but empathised with businesses that would be impacted by the new guidelines, as well as those in the hospitality industry that are being hit with a 10pm curfew.

“We are at a critical point in the fight against coronavirus," he said.

“The new measures will be a concern for some sectors of business but clearly action needed to be taken to get to grips with the escalation of the virus.

“Some hospitality businesses will undoubtedly be disappointed and the guidance on home working is a major change just when employees were returning to the office.

“We must not hide away from the fact that a return to home working will not be easy for some employers and employees."

Mr Girling added: “Some roles are suited to home working while others are not. There is productivity to consider, and it may be problematic from a HR management perspective as well as for those people who do not have ideal homeworking conditions.

“Many businesses have already carried out a huge amount of work to make their offices Covid-safe and now face implementing fresh working practices.

“There will be an economic impact from the new measures but the Government is in a high-stakes balancing act and a full national lockdown is the very last thing anyone wants.

“Dorset businesses have consistently demonstrated their resilience and ability to adapt during this period of national emergency.

“I am confident that they will be able to do so again in the weeks and months ahead."

Mr Girling reassured business owners that the Chamber will continue to be on-hand to offer support.

“The overwhelming vast majority of businesses in Dorset have acted responsibly throughout the pandemic," he added.

“I am sure they will continue to play their part in keeping people safe and stopping the spread of the virus while keeping the economy moving and ensuring Dorset remains open for business.”