A new campaign seeks to make fully remote, home, blended and hub working options easier for employers and employees in Ireland.
The Irish Government has called on employers to make remote and home working a bigger part of working life after Covid-19.
At the launch of a new remote working campaign this morning (28 June), Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment Leo Varadkar, TD, said the pandemic has proven that working from home can be done.
“At the moment, it’s not a choice. Many want to return to the office, many want to continue to work from home or a remote hub local to where they live. Most want a blend.”
He said that remote working should be a matter of choice for the future, so long as businesses can run smoothly and service needs are met.
“We need to make sure we do not drift back to the office and the old normal just because it’s safe to do so. We need to seize this opportunity to create a new normal, a better normal,” he said.
“I’m asking employers to consider how they can make remote working a more permanent feature of life after the pandemic. Whether it means keeping home working and remote working as an option, or a blended model of home and the office, or working from the office and remote working hubs, now is the time for employers to speak to staff about works best for them and the company as a whole.”
The new campaign builds on the National Remote Work Strategy published earlier this year, which outlined the Government’s objective to make remote working a permanent feature of Irish workplaces.
Its three-pillar plan involves the creation of an environment conducive to working remotely, the development of remote work infrastructure, and the provision of a policy framework.
The strategy includes a checklist containing recommendations that aims to assist employers with making fully remote, home, blended and hub working options available to employees. It also covers areas such health and safety, data protection, employment conditions and cybersecurity.
‘I encourage employers and workers to talk to each other and agree a more permanent arrangement that suits both’
– LEO VARADKAR
At the launch of the new campaign, Varadkar also reiterated the Government’s intentions to install high-speed broadband in all parts of Ireland as part of the National Broadband Plan.
Varadkar also said the Government would be reviewing the treatment of remote working for tax and expenses in advance of the next budget, adding that it would “lead by example” by making home and remote working the norm for 20pc of public sector employees.
“I encourage employers and workers to talk to each other and agree a more permanent arrangement that suits both, so that everyone is prepared once public health measures ease.”