Ireland Will Revamp “Right To Request Remote Work” Bill

Right to request remote work
Photo by Mimi Thian on Unsplash

Before the end of the year, workers in Ireland will have the legal right to seek remote work.

The Enterprise department of Tánaiste Leo Varadkar is likely to abandon its attempt to reintroduce a bill on the ability to seek remote work. It was being reviewed and was slated to go into effect the next year.

Instead, the new workers’ rights will be implemented by the end of the year, pending cabinet approval, under minister Roderic O’Gorman’s Work Life Balance Bill. The bill by Mr. O’Gorman enables caregivers and parents of children under 12 to apply for any type of flexible work.

These include the ability to request split shifts, flexible start and stop times, reduced working hours, and remote work. However, it is currently anticipated that the measure would be amended to allow all employees to seek remote work.

Following intensive discussions between government authorities, union representatives, and employer representatives, it is also anticipated to simplify several aspects of the draft remote working law. The 13 reasons why companies must deny requests for remote work are being reduced, and the number of years of service a worker must have before making a request is also being changed.

A spokeswoman for the Department of Enterprise stated that the initial proposal to have two separate legislation is being reviewed.

In order to make the proposed statutory right to seek remote employment “fit for purpose,” there has reportedly been extensive engagement at the Labor Employer Economic Forum, according to Laura Bambrick, social policy officer for the Irish Congress of Trade Unions. Ictu, according to her, is in principle in favor of the suggestion to include it in the work-life balance bill.

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