Sinn Féin spokesperson on Workers’ Rights, Louise O’Reilly TD, said that a report published by the Financial Services Union on employee experiences of remote working should be another wake-up call for the Tánaiste on the need to strengthen his remote working bill and legislate for the ‘right to disconnect’.
Teachta O’Reilly said:
“Today the Financial Services Union (FSU) published a research report into employee experiences of remote working in the financial services sector.
“The report made for interesting reading and as with nearly all research in the area it highlighted the need for significant improvements to the government’s remote working bill.
“Only recently officials from the Department of Enterprise, Trade, and Employment admitted the legislation is flawed and needs to be strengthened.
“The Tánaiste’s remote working bill has been criticised from every quarter, and the FSU report is another wake-up call that it must be strengthened.
“However, the FSU research also revealed the need to legislate for the ‘right to disconnect’.
“Workers flagged issues such as being drained by work and the encroachment of work on private time through ever-present connectivity.
“The current situation where workers are excessively contacted is unfair, unhealthy, and it also hurts productivity as a burnt-out worker cannot perform to the best of their ability.
“It was for this reason that I introduced the Organisation of Working Time (Amendment) (Right to Disconnect) Bill 2020 to ensure proper regulation of excessive out-of-hours contact between employers and staff via email, messaging app or phone, and give workers a legal right to disconnect, or switch off, from work.
“Workers not only deserve a legal right to disconnect which is protected in law, but they absolutely need it, for their physical and mental health, for their wellbeing, and for their productivity.
“The FSU research should be a wake-up call for the Tánaiste on the need to strengthen his remote working bill and legislate for the ‘right to disconnect’.”