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15th Jan 2021

Government to make permanently working from home a legal right

Rory Cashin

Recent research shows that 94% of people working in Ireland prefer working from home.

The Government has announced the Remote Work Strategy, which will give employees the legal right to request to work from home on a more permanent basis.

The new strategy, which is set to be put in place by September, will now require employers to give good reasons for refusing a request to work from home, and if employees are not happy with those reasons, they can take the issue to the Workplace Relations Committee.

The Government also announced that the new strategy is also seek to invest in remote working hubs around the country, as well as explore the potential for the acceleration of the National Broadband Plan.

RTE reports that the accompanying “he report cites recent research indicating that up to 94% of respondents favoured working from home.”

Regarding the strategy, Tánaiste Leo Varadkar had the following to say:

“Working from home has become the norm for many in 2020. We want to make remote, blended and flexible working arrangements a much bigger part of life after COVID.

“We’ve seen that there can be huge benefits – more flexibility, less commuting, more time for family and friends – and it’s better for the transport emissions and quality of life, but it has to be done right.

“Employment rights need to be updated, we need to give guidance, and in many cases, we need to provide actual physical working space.

“It also requires a cultural shift in favour of facilitating it as an option. This plan shows how we will bring all those parts together. I think it will make a real difference to people’s working lives.”

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