Ireland: The Government is Legislating the Right to Request Working Remotely

Dublin Ireland

In Ireland, the government rejected the various calls for the right to work remotely. However, today the Cabinet will analyze the bill for the right to request work from home. 

Thousands of employees in Ireland are currently returning to the office after working remotely for various months. And while the Cabinet rejected the right to remote work, today, they will consider the right to request remote work. This means that employers will potentially approve or deny requests to work remotely. 

Tánaiste Leo Varadkar said that the bill on the right to request to work remotely will be discussed today in the Cabinet. Yesterday, he mentioned that while workers can currently ask for remote work possibilities, there’s no legal framework around remote work. He mentioned:

“This legal framework will set out the reasons according to which an employer could refuse remote working and also have an appeals mechanism that can be adjudicated independently through the workplace relations commission.”

According to the Irish Congress of Trade Unions, many workers will still require remote working arrangements due to health concerns because of the pandemic. And overall, the general consensus is that remote work arrangements should be discussed, not forced. 

Despite many employees returning to the office, the Tánaiste has been clear that returning to work onsite will be gradual. In the cases of multinationals, they have stated that their employees can return to the office until March or April at the earliest. 

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