The Right to Request Remote Working

By Steven Galvin - Last update


Get Daily news and updates directly to your Email




Details of a new law which will give employees the right to request remote working, has been published today by the Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment Leo Varadkar TD as part of his plans to make better terms and conditions for workers a legacy of the pandemic.

Right to Request Remote Work Bill

The Right to Request Remote Working

The Tánaiste said:

“Up until now, remote and home working has been imposed on a lot of people due to the public health restrictions.  Now that they have been lifted, I want it to be a choice.  I want workers to be able to work from home or remotely or hybrid if they want to. So long as the business get done and services are provided, employers should facilitate it.

“I know throughout the pandemic, many employers have gone to great lengths to give their employees as much flexibility around where they work as possible. We want this to continue. The world of work has changed and I know many would like to retain some amount of remote working once Covid is behind us.

“This new law will give every employee the right to request remote working from their employer. Employers will be required to provide reasonable grounds for refusing to facilitate an employees’ request. These grounds are set out in the legislation and we will develop Codes of Practice to provide guidance to help employers implement the new law.

“It will give employers and workers legal clarity on remote working, which became the default for many during the pandemic.”

The Right to Request Remote Working Bill 2021 will, for the first time, provide a legal framework around which requesting, approving or refusing a request for remote work can be based.

All workplaces must have a written statement which sets out the company’s Remote Working Policy, specifying the manner in which remote working requests are managed and the conditions which will apply to remote working generally within the organisation.

Where the employer has diligently completed the assessment process and any appeal has been heard, the employee will have to wait a period of 12 months to submit another request, provided they are in the same role. If an employee moves to a new role within the company, they may submit a fresh request.

The new law provides for a time-limit for an employer to return a decision in relation to a request from an employee. The employer can set out their own specific time limit but it must not be more than 12 weeks.

An employee will be eligible to submit a request once they have worked for their employer for a period of six months. However, an employer is free to offer remote work from day one if desired.

There will be a right of appeal to the Workplace Relations Commission where an employer has failed to respond to a request or to provide any reasonable grounds for refusal of a request for remote working and protections for employees from penalisation for having exercised their entitlement to request remote working.

The Tánaiste said:

“We have a real opportunity now to change the norm and learn what we can from the pandemic. This new right is in addition to the right to disconnect, our investment in remote working hubs across the country and our changes to the treatment of home working costs through Budget 2022.”

The General Scheme has been developed following consultation with employer groups, employee representative groups and the public.

The General Scheme and the Regulatory Impact Assessment are available at Right to Request Remote Work Bill 2021.



Steven Galvin

European Financial Forum 2022
‘Back for Business’ Programme


Comments

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

We'd love to send you the latest news and articles about evening classes, further learning and adult education by email. We'll always treat your personal details with the utmost care and will never sell them to other companies for marketing purposes.

Comments and Reviews Policy