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The Independent

Therese Coffey underneath fireplace for telling workers to not use Oxford comma



New Well being Secretary Therese Coffey has come underneath fireplace after her workplace issued steering telling employees to keep away from utilizing coverage “jargon” and cease utilizing Oxford commas.

An e mail, understood to have been despatched to workers on the Department of Health and Social Care and despatched on to employees on the UK Well being Safety Company (UKHSA), is reported to have advised them to advised to keep away from utilizing the ultimate comma utilized in a listing of issues.

The Monetary Occasions (FT), which first reported the story, stated the doc was titled “New secretary of state methods of working preferences”.

It requested staff to “be exact” and “be optimistic — if we have now completed one thing good, allow us to say so and keep away from double negatives”, the FT stated.

One UKHSA worker advised the FT that the e-mail was “tremendous patronising” and added: “The concept that we have now to border points positively signifies an individual who doesn’t need to cope with issues, in order that’s not encouraging.”

Ms Coffey additionally got here underneath fireplace for the e-mail on Twitter from NHS workers and sufferers.

Up to now, she has shared her hatred of the Oxford comma on Twitter, describing it in 2015 as one in every of her “pet hates”.

“I abhor the Oxford comma and refuse to make use of it,” the MP wrote.

She stated she was “delighted” to be taught that the Oxford University Press was lowering its use in 2011, including: “I can’t bear it and continually take away it. Rant over.”

Based on Government sources, it isn’t uncommon for ministerial groups to set out methods of working for workers when new ministers are appointed.

They stated the Authorities has “set out a broad information for workers to assist present an environment friendly service to the general public and ship higher outcomes to sufferers”.

The FT reported that UKHSA employees had been feeling “demoralised” after the Authorities earlier this 12 months made substantial job cuts to fixed-term workers who had been concerned in outbreak management in the course of the Covid pandemic.

Some everlasting workers have been provided a 2.5% pay enhance to assist handle the rising price of residing.

“We are literally getting a wage reduce,” one worker with information of the plans advised the FT.

A UKHSA spokesman stated: “UKHSA doesn’t touch upon leaked emails or briefings.



UKHSA doesn’t touch upon leaked emails or briefings. We worth enormously all of our hard-working colleagues who work tirelessly to make our nation’s well being safe

UKHSA spokesman

“We worth enormously all of our hard-working colleagues who work tirelessly to make our nation’s well being safe.”

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