Remote work requests to become employee right before end of 2021

The Irish Government recently launched ‘Making Remote Work’ the country’s new National Remote Work Strategy.

The aim of the strategy is to make remote working a permanent feature in the Irish workplace in a way that maximises economic, social, and environmental benefits.

How will this impact employers?

Employers throughout Ireland will be contemplating the impact an employee right to request remote working could have on their business.

The legislation for this new employee right is scheduled to be in effect by the end of September. Although it will give employees the right to request remote working arrangements, it’s not an absolute right. That means employers can refuse a request once they have a justifiable reason for doing so.

However, dissatisfied employees, on the back of a refusal, will have the right to bring a case to the Workplace Relations Commission (WRC). The WRC is also developing a Code of Practice on the Right to Disconnect that will be admissible in disputes and adjudications.

How will it affect work post-COVID-19?

This announcement is an indicator of how the Government is approaching work post-COVID-19.

The strategy will make remote, blended, and flexible working arrangements a normal part of our working lives, a change employers should begin to prepare for.

What challenges does remote working pose?

The pandemic has, out of necessity, given employers the opportunity to trial remote working. Many will have noticed the challenges of managing teams remotely and the added costs of upgrading IT systems and providing appropriate workstations.

In 2021, employers are hoping to return to business as usual, or business pre-pandemic. This new right introduces an extra layer of remote work compliance at a time when employers are already under severe pressure.

If the expertise to manage the challenges of permanent remote working doesn’t exist within the business, external assistance will be needed.

Do you have questions about remote work requests?

If you have questions about remote work requests, speak to an expert now on 01 886 0350 or request a callback here.

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