WRC seeks submissions on right to disconnect

The Workplace Relations Commission (WRC) has announced that it’s undertaking a public consultation as part of its process for drafting a new Code of practice on the “right to disconnect”.

The Code will set out guidance for employees and employers with regard to best practice. It will also consider employee disengagement outside normal working hours.

The WRC is preparing The Code further to a request by Tánaiste and Employment Minister Leo Varadkar. Once The Code is in place, it’s intended to be admissible in evidence before a:

  • Court
  • WRC adjudication officer
  • Labour Court hearing

Coronavirus and the influence of remote working

The coronavirus pandemic has seen a large number of employers turn to remote working arrangements to maintain productivity. This trend looks set to continue and become a more long-term system of working.

The Organisation of Working Time Act 1997 outlines daily and weekly working time limits. However, there’s little guidance on managing remote workers.

It’s difficult to predict the extent of the guidelines the new Code will contain. But, it does look likely that remote working will be a major HR issue for employers in 2021.

Submissions deadline

Submissions to the consultation should be sent to the WRC by 5pm on January 22nd, 2021. They should be marked “Right to Disconnect” and sent to finbarr.kiely@workplacerelations.ie.

Postal submissions can be sent to Finbarr Kiely, Workplace Relations Commission, Lansdowne House, Lansdowne Road, Dublin 4, D04A3A8.

Need further advice on the right to disconnect?

If you need further advice on the right to disconnect, speak to an expert now on 01 886 0350 or request a callback here.

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Nora Cashe

Peninsula

Nóra studied Law in Griffith College Dublin and qualified as a Barrister in 2008, practising in the area of Criminal law. She is also member of the Irish Employment Law Association.

Nora has extensive experience representing clients at Employment Tribunal hearings, Conciliation / Mediation meetings before both the Workplace Relations Commission and the Labour Court. 

Nóra is a member of the Irish Employment Law Association and engages with the WRC Adjudication Service as part of their stakeholder engagement forum.

Deiric McCann

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Deiric McCann leads Genos International Europe – The EU division of a world-leading provider of emotional intelligence solutions. 

With over two decades experience at the highest levels of management, Deiric supports clients to develop the resilience, emotional intelligence, psychological safety and engagements of their employees.

Rhiannon Coyne

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Rhiannon Coyne is a Senior HR Consultant at Graphite HRM and will be providing an overview of best practice on how to deal with complaints of bullying and harassment in the workplace. 

With a number of recent updates to employment laws, Rhiannon will take a closer look at employment equality and how it is interlinked to Health & Safety and what employers can learn from recent case laws.

David Begg

Workplace Relations Commission

David Begg was appointed Chairperson of the Workplace Relations Commission (WRC) in January 2021.

David is also a professor at Maynooth University Institute of Social Sciences. Mr Begg’s extensive history in the trade union movement included leading the ESB Officers Association and Irish Congress of Trade Unions, stepping away from the latter in 2001 to chair international aid agency Concern.

David Begg was also previously a director of the Central Bank of Ireland between 1995 and 2010.