Chief executive hits back at Lord Sugar’s ‘lazy g**s’ work from home jibe

Lord Sugar (left) and Stephen Moir: head to head over working from home

Lord Sugar (left) and Stephen Moir: head to head over working from home - Credit: BBC/John Elworthy

Lord Sugar has come under fire from Cambridgeshire County Council chief executive Stephen Moir for an attack on people working from home.  

The host of BBC’s The Apprentice used Twitter to criticise accountancy firm PwC for allowing staff to take Friday afternoons off throughout the summer.  

PwC justified it by noting they were locked in a race for talent amid widespread staff shortages.  

Lord Sugar was having none of it.  

“This is a bloody joke,” he tweeted. “The lazy gits make me sick. Call me old fashioned but all this work from home BS is a total joke.  

“There is no way people work as hard or productive as when they had to turn up at a work location. The pandemic has had long lasting negative effect.” 

Mr Moir has a formidable background in HR; he was once head of HR at Cambridgeshire County Council. 

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He was also chief people officer for NHS England and head of profession for HR in the NHS, the fifth largest employer in the world.  

Mr Moir tweeted back to Lord Sugar that “something other than old fashioned comes to mind.  

“I’d also say that calling your workforce lazy gits is really going to motivate and engage them…” 

Last month Jake Berry, the Conservative MP for Rossendale and Darwen, told The Daily Telegraph that “there is little or no reason whatsoever that people working for Cambridgeshire County Council should not go back to work.  

“We have seen Covid restrictions rolled back across the country and it beggars' belief that the only place they haven't heard about this is in Cambridgeshire.” 

Mr Moir had an answer to that, too, and again on Twitter.  

“Reflecting upon issues of work, workplace and workforce,” he tweeted.  

“IMHO, work is what you do, let’s not confuse or conflate this with where you do it from.  

“Workplace can describe a range of settings & locations, some fixed, some variable, some virtual, so let’s instead focus on outcomes…” 

At the outset of the pandemic, in April 2020, and then executive director of resources at Edinburgh City Council, Mr Moir had set out early thoughts on working from home.  

“People have had to learn to work remotely where previously it’s been too easy to say ‘I’ll just go into the office’,” he said. 

“Now they’re actually having to do it, it’s amazing how people are embracing it.”