Government to publish bill on right to request remote work option 4 months ago

Government to publish bill on right to request remote work option

The bill could see employers go before the Workplace Relations Commission if they refuse requests from employees.

Today will see the Irish Government publish a bill that will allow employees to request the right to work from home or to work remotely.

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While the bill doesn't mean that all workers will be absolutely guaranteed the option to work from home, it does mean that employers must give a valid reason for rejecting requests.

As Breaking News reports, these reasons must stand up to scrutiny in the Workplace Relations Commission.

Outlining the reasons for the bill, An Tánaiste Leo Varadkar said that he hopes the bill will allow Ireland to move to a situation where people are working from home if that's their choice, rather than a public health requirement.

Addressing reporters, the Fine Gael leader said: "One thing we are concerned about happening, that we don’t want to happen, is businesses and employers just returning to things the way they were before the pandemic happened."

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He continued: "What happened during the pandemic was very much that people had to work from home, not by choice but because of public health advice.

“We want to move to a situation whereby people aren’t working from home because they have to, but they’re working from home because they choose to.

“Or engaging in some form of remote or hybrid working, as a choice rather than as a public health requirement.”

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Mr Varadkar then said that the message to employers is to facilitate choice and as long as "the business gets done" and that "public services aren't damaged in any way", workers should have the right to request remote work.

He did outline however that for a number of sectors - education, healthcare, manufacturing, hospitality - remote working will be "very difficult".

Varadkar later pointed out how, largely speaking, the bill "makes sense" as "everyone sees the benefits of home working and remote working".

Feature image: Sam Boal/RollingNews.ie

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