The Government is to pass a law to provide Irish employees with a right to request remote working arrangements.
Tanaiste Leo Varadkar has said Ireland now has an opportunity to make remote working a major part of working life.
He also revealed the Government will also introduce a legally admissible code of practice on the right to disconnect from work — a code that would cover phone calls, emails and switch-off time.
Thousands of people across Donegal are now working from home while many are opting for a hybrid of home and office work on different days.
The Tánaiste said that home and remote working would become a standard arrangement for 20% of public sector workers.
However, he said he recognised that remote working won’t work for everyone or for every organisation, so the Government will take a balanced approach with the new legislation.
“We have a real opportunity now to make remote and blended working a much bigger part of normal working life,” Mr Varadkar said.
“Introducing a right to request remote working will set out a clear framework to facilitate remote and blended work options, in so far as possible. It will ensure that when an employer declines a request, there are stated reasons for doing so and conversations with workers are taking place in a structured way.
“We recognise that remote working won’t work for everyone or for every organisation, so the Government will take a balanced approach with the new legislation.”
The department said the submissions will help inform the drafting of legislation, while a review of international best practice has already begun.
“The intention is to introduce a mechanism for employees to request remote working that is fair to workers but does not place an undue burden on employers. This new legislation will be a priority in the new Dáil term,” Mr Varadkar said.