October 10, 2022
Tánaiste’s second attempt to get remote working legislation right ‘welcome’ – Louise O’Reilly TD

Sinn Féin spokesperson on Workers’ Rights, Louise O’Reilly TD, has welcomed the Tánaiste’s admission that his draft remote working bill was “flawed” and that he is bringing forward changes and improvements.

Teachta O’Reilly said:

“At a hearing of the Oireachtas Enterprise, Trade, and Employment Committee in May, officials from the Department outlined that the Tánaiste’s proposed legislation on a right to request remote was flawed and that they would be strengthening the bill.

“Their appearance at the Committee came on the back of significant criticism of the draft Bill from workers, the trade union movement, the media, and politicians.

“Workers were confused and angry that the government’s proposed legislation was conservative and fell far short of what was expected, and the Oireachtas Enterprise, Trade, and Employment Committee was particularly critical and called for significant improvements.

“The Tánaiste’s 13 sweeping and subjective reasons to allow an employer deny a remote working request were far from fair, reasonable, or proportionate.

“The flawed legislation was exacerbated by the fact the appeal mechanism outlined in the draft heads of bill was far too weak. These were issues which Sinn Féin, the Irish Congress of Trade Unions, and many others raised when the legislation was first published.

“It is welcome that the Tánaiste has now indicated that work is afoot to resolve the failures of his draft Bill and that improvements will see the legislation departing quite far from the original heads.

“However, it must be stated that the amended legislation will be judged on whether workers have confidence that it compels employers to be fair, reasonable, and consistent in their considerations.”

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