Sinn Féin spokesperson on Enterprise, Trade, Employment and Workers’ Rights Louise O’Reilly TD has said the report launched today on the right to request remote working has outlined that both workers and employers see remote and hybrid working as a key to the future of work.
Teachta O’Reilly said:
“Remote working, or working from home, is not just a response to the pandemic. For many years now, 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.
“It is now clear from the report on the right to request remote working, published by the Minister for Enterprise, Trade, and Employment today, that workers and employers see remote and hybrid working as key to the future of work.
“While the report indicates that it is the government’s intention to introduce a legal framework to allow workers request remote working, it is important that there is also legal underpinning to ensure that all requests are considered by employers.
“A right to request remote working and a right for this request to be fully considered must go hand in glove.
“Remote and hybrid working, in conjunction with the delivery of high-speed broadband and the construction of remote working hubs, offers us a chance to rejuvenate and revitalise our towns and villages which have suffered a multitude of social and economic shocks over many years.
“Legislating for the right to request remote working must also include a legal framework to deliver a right to disconnect from work. Technological developments in recent years have led a pervasive ‘always on’ culture, where workers are contactable and readily available to receive work emails, calls, text messages, and push notifications at every hour of the day, every day of the week.
“Only robust legislation will offer remote workers the necessary protections around health and safety, pay and conditions, equipment, right to disconnect, and right to request remote working.
“Sinn Féin will work with the Tánaiste to progress and implement positive legislation around the right to request remote working, and we will also seek to strengthen any legislation where we feel it falls short.”