According to a remote-working study of over 150 HR professionals from both the public and private sectors, 44% of companies will be “very flexible” in allowing remote workers to work.
With the end of the pandemic’s emergency stage, a whopping 87 % of enterprises surveyed by Mason Hayes & Curran LLP (MH&C) have began bringing staff back on site.
“Employers and employees also need to bear in mind that remote working is not the same as flexible working. Flexibility in this post-COVID reality we all now inhabit is, I think, what employees really want.”Melanie Crowley, head of the employment and benefits team
In addition, 51% of companies say they would be “somewhat” flexible on remote work, while only 5% say they will not be flexible at all.
MH&C LLP, a business legal company, conducted the survey during a recent webinar on the essential features of the government’s National Remote Work Strategy, the Code of Practice on the Right to Disconnect, and the proposed Right to Request Remote Working Bill 2022.
“At the moment, employees don’t have a legal or statutory right to seek remote work.”Jessica Bielenberg, Senior Associate
If an employer declines a request for remote working, she added, there isn’t much a frustrated employee can do.
“They can put in an appeal – employers should have an appeal process in their remote work policy, and an employee has to wait two weeks to allow the employer to deal with that appeal.”Jessica Bielenberg, Senior Associate
Employees can presently only file a claim with the Workplace Relations Commission (WRC) on procedural grounds, according to Bielenberg.
The bill’s provision that it will be an offence not to have a remote working policy in place is “interesting and rather unusual,” according to senior partner Ger Connolly.
According to the report, 41% of companies do not have such a policy in place right now.
“Organizations should absolutely have a policy that sets out their position in relation to remote working. Before the legislation comes in, organisations should take the time to consider what this means to them from an operational point of view because, unlike other policies, your remote working policy will have a bearing on your employees’ performance of their jobs on a weekly basis. Our strong advice is to spend time drafting a policy that suits your organisation’s needs and be clear about how this impacts on the contract of employment. If bespoke arrangements are in place, these should be clearly communicated by email and employers should reserve the right to review and revisit arrangements on a regular basis.”Ger CoMolly, Senior Partner
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