November 9, 2021
Workers at risk due to lack of progress on remote working legislation – Louise O’Reilly TD

Sinn Féin spokesperson on Workers’ Rights, Louise O’Reilly TD, has said the lack of progress on legislation to deliver a right to request remote working is “putting workers at risk as Covid numbers continue to rise”.

Teachta O’Reilly said:

“Since the end of September, official government advice has been for a return to on-site working.

“In the face of rising Covid case numbers, I recently wrote to the Tánaiste seeking clarity on remote working and the return to on-site working.

“The Tánaiste’s written response was that the general return to workplaces should continue on a phased and cautious basis.

“This response contrasts with the public announcement that the people should work from home, where possible.

“While some employers and managers are continuing to exert caution and allow workers to work from home, others are seeking a return to on-stie working, and in the face of increasing Covid case numbers, such decisions are unnecessarily endangering workers.

“If work duties can be performed from home, and where a worker’s preference is to continue to perform their duties from home, then that process should be supported.

“However, without the legal right to request remote working, and with the government’s official advice continuing to advocate a return to on-site working, workers are being put at risk.

“The Tánaiste cannot continue to publicly call for workers to stay working from home, while doing nothing to facilitate this in practice. 

“In the absence of a legal right to request remote working, the Tánaiste must consider changing the official advice from a phased return to on-site working to one that advocates for continued remote working.”

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