Sinn Féin spokesperson on Enterprise, Trade, Employment and Workers’ Rights, Louise O’Reilly TD, has called on the government to expedite legislation to deliver a right to request remote working.
Teachta O’Reilly said:
“With the changes to the public health restrictions announced this evening it is important that workers’ hard-won gains in relation to remote working are not undone by employers and managers.
“Remote working, or working from home, is not just a response to the pandemic. For many years workers, trade unions, and opposition politicians have been highlighting the benefits of remote working and pushing for it to be recognised as a protected form of work with particular safeguards, protections, and allowances for those workers.
“Unfortunately, as we approach two years into the Covid crisis, workers still do not have the right to request remote working.
“In the absence of this legal right, many workers are concerned that their managers and employers will now demand that they return to full on-site working and deny them the option of remote or hybrid working.
“A report on the right to request remote working, published by the Minister for Enterprise, Trade, and Employment, highlighted that workers see remote and hybrid working as key to the future of work.
“Therefore, it is no surprise that many workers are disappointed that they still do not have a legal right to request this form of work, with the situation exasperated given that a phased return to on-site working has been announced this evening.
“Sinn Féin has previously committed to working with the government to progress and implement legislation to deliver a right to request remote working, it is now up to the government to expedite its delivery as a matter of urgency.”