What would you like to see added to the Government’s remote working guidelines? You can have your say as part of a new consultation.
Today (9 July), the Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation launched a public consultation on updated guidelines for remote working.
The consultation follows a report published by the Government in late 2019 about views on remote working in Ireland, which discussed such issues as the right to disconnect, employment rights and health and safety.
However, since the Covid-19 pandemic has resulted in “unprecedented numbers of people remote working, many for the first time”, the department said, another consultation is necessary.
It is asking employees and employers to share their thoughts on how the Guidance for Working Remotely document, published in early 2020, can be updated.
At the moment, the guidelines cover such areas as cybersecurity, training, welfare and employment conditions. In today’s announcement, the department said it is seeking feedback on whether the current guidance is suitable, how it can be improved and where employers and employees need further guidance.
The Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment Leo Varadkar, TD, said that making remote working more commonplace in Ireland will hail such benefits as reduced business costs, better work-life balance and less traffic.
“Covid-19 disrupted our working lives and threw many of us into working from home or remotely for the very first time,” Varadkar said. “We learned quickly what was possible by using modern technology.
“It’s been an accelerator of change that was coming and while we all want to be free to return to our workplaces, we don’t want to go back to things exactly as they were. The Government wants remote working and home working to become part of the new normal.
“And, of course, it’s not an either or. For some, a mix of working remotely and from their base will become the new way of doing things.”
The department said it will use the information it receives to “shape public policy on remote working”. The deadline for submissions to the consultation is 7 August 2020. Find out how to send in your response here.