October 19, 2021
Mixed messaging from government regarding return to workplaces – Louise O’Reilly TD

Sinn Féin spokesperson on Workers’ Rights, Louise O’Reilly TD, has said that the government cannot continue to sit back and issue mixed messaging regarding the return to on-site working.

Teachta O’Reilly has written to the Tánaiste calling on him to give a detailed and written outline of what is expected of workers and employers over the coming months regarding the return to workplaces and remote working.

Teachta O’Reilly said:

“The announcement today that a full return to workplaces may not be possible until next spring will mean little to workers who have already returned to full on-site working since September 20th.

“While the public health advice is still for people to work from home where possible, the reality for many workers is that they have been summoned back to the workplace even though they could continue to work from home.

“Without explicit guidance or a legal right to request remote or home working, the decision on return to on-site working is solely in the hands of employers and managers.

“There is a power imbalance in such situations and, as a result, a lot of workers are back in what are effectively full workplaces, even though many could continue to work remotely.

“It is not good enough for the government to say a full return to offices will not be possible until spring without ensuring that workers can continue to work remotely, where possible.

“In the absence of a legal right to request remote working, the government must give a detailed and written outline of what is expected of workers and employers over the coming months regarding the return to workplaces and remote working.”

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