A new Code of Practice comes into effect today to give all employees in Ireland the right to disconnect from work and have a better work-life balance.
The code protects employees from being asked to perform work outside their normal working hours. Employees also have the right to not respond immediately to emails, telephone calls or other messages outside normal working hours.
The code was signed by Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment Leo Varadkar TD, who said: “The Code of Practice comes into effect immediately and applies to all types of employment, whether you are working remotely or not. It will help employees, no matter what their job is, to strike a better work-life balance and switch off from work outside of their normal working hours.”
Mr Varadkar added: “The pandemic has transformed working practices, and many of those changes will be long-lasting. Although much of the impact of the pandemic has been negative, particularly for those who have lost jobs, income or whose businesses have been closed, it also offers an opportunity to make permanent changes for the better, whether that’s working more from home, having more time with the family, or more flexible working hours.
The Tánaiste is also inviting views on his plans to put the right to request remote working into law.
Currently in Ireland, all employees can ask their employers for the right to work remotely, but there is no legal framework around which a request can be made and how it should be dealt with by the employer. This new law will set out clearly how these requests should be facilitated as far as possible.