January 4, 2021
Government should issue instruction calling on employers to facilitate remote working – Louise O’Reilly TD

Sinn Féin spokesperson on Enterprise, Trade, Employment and Workers’ Rights, Louise O’Reilly TD, has called on the Tánaiste, as the Minister responsible, to issue instruction to employers calling on them to allow workers to work from home during the new lockdown, where possible.

Speaking this afternoon, Teachta O’Reilly said: 

“As we enter the third full lockdown since the onset of the pandemic, getting the virus under control will again need a mammoth effort from the public.

“As we have seen throughout the Covid-19 crisis, the public have always risen to the challenge of combatting the virus and adhered to the public health regulations.

“Workers in particular have made huge sacrifices – many have seen their sectors under enforced closure due to the public health restrictions. Others have had to totally recalibrate how they work and many are at the frontline working in essential services in supermarkets, the health service, food production and supply, to name but a few.

“Due to the public health measures, employers and managers have allowed workers to work from home, with many employees putting in a full day’s work from bedrooms, box rooms, children’s playrooms, or kitchen tables.

“Unfortunately, particularly during the last lockdown, some employers and managers did not heed the public health advice, and workers were compelled to attend work on site, even though the work could be done remotely.

“To avoid a repeat of this, the Tánaiste, as the Minister responsible, must issue instruction to employers calling on them to allow workers to work from home during the new lockdown.

“The emphasis has to be on employers allowing employees to work from home as much as on it is on encouraging workers to work from home.

“If this is not done, then people will continue to be compelled to attend their place of work by employers and managers, and the public health measures will not be as effective as they otherwise could be.”

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