Government seeks views on flexible working

Last updated: June 21st, 2022

The Department of Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth is currently seeking the public’s views on flexible working.

Flexible working is an arrangement growing in popularity as we ease out of lockdown. Today, we look at how the arrangement could benefit your business and why the Government is seeking to develop a flexible working policy.

What is flexible working?

Flexible working allows employees to structure their workday around their individual needs.

The Irish workforce isn’t unique in how it’s made up of parents, individuals with caring responsibilities, and employees whose interests outside work impact on their time. With the introduction of flexible working, both staff and employers can benefit as a better balance between work and home life can be established. This, of course, leads to happier working relationships.

Purpose of the consultation

The Government is seeking to develop a flexible working policy and guidance that takes account of the needs of various stakeholders. These stakeholders range from families (particularly those with young children) to individuals with disabilities to employers and various participants in the broader economy.

The development of a policy framework will rely upon the findings of the consultation which in turn will have the capacity to:

  • Respond to a changing business environment.
  • Promote better work-life balance.
  • Support greater labour market participation for parents and carers through family-friendly work practices.

The range of views being sought

This consultation seeks to consider the views of employers, employees, and the public on:

  • The issues that are most important for them in terms of flexible working. This includes the types of flexible working arrangements currently in place and the changes that they wish to see.
  • The potential impact of changes in technology, the workplace, the family and society on the types of flexible working arrangements available to, or sought by, employees.
  • The changing nature of flexible working arrangements in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • The potential obstacles that may exist for SMEs and large employers as well as the potential administrative impact.
  • The success factors that will help the Government and businesses to develop flexible working options that suit employees and employers.

Regarding the consultation process, Minister Roderic O’Gorman said: “The pandemic has brought about huge changes in the way we work and has highlighted the need for workplaces to be responsive to the needs of families and those with caring responsibilities. With many organisations moving towards flexible working arrangements, we are now presented with a unique opportunity to reinvent the way we work and create a flexible working model – one that supports a better work-life balance and a more inclusive labour market.”

Article: 5 questions to ask before introducing flexible working arrangements

Submissions

Any business or individual that wants to submit their views can complete a short questionnaire on flexible working, which can be accessed here.

Detailed written submissions are also invited. These can be returned to flexibleworkingconsultation@equality.gov.ie. Guidance on written submissions is available here.

Closing date

The closing date for receipt of submissions is Friday, May 28th, 2021 at 5pm.

Need our help handling flexible work?

For advice on any HR issue, such as how flexible work affects your business, speak to an expert now on 01 886 0350 or request a callback here.

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