ireland cannot stop hybrid working for employees now
Ireland – It is not going to be easy to get away with not giving the option of Work-From-Home to its working professionals. In fact, those who do so, will have to face the music at the hands of the Workplace Relations Commission (WRC), under new laws to be approved today.
The Cabinet today has approved a legislation that will enhance the power of employees who want to continue remote working. As people go back to office to work, they will still have the option to work remotely, if they feel it enhances their productivity. Meanwhile, companies will be responsible to provide explanation if they refuse to allow someone to work from home. They could be liable to explain themselves in the Labor Court as well.
The new laws, it has been stated, will now force employers to publish a written policy on the right of employees to work from home, or elsewhere outside the office. Should requests for remote working be rejected, employees can appeal to the Workplace Relations Commission (WRC) which can make a binding adjudication and impose fines in certain circumstances.
The WRC will also provide protections for employees against being penalized for remote working. Tánaiste Leo Varadkar, who will publish the heads of the bill today, said the Government “doesn’t want things to go back to normal”.
It is also going to be troublesome for those who are returning back to work after a hiatus of work from home. A hefty increase in fuel costs compared to pre-pandemic times awaits most officer goers, potentially setting them back hundreds of euro this 2022.
Under a proper legal framework, the Irish government wants to make hybrid working a norm. An employee who wants to work from home, will be able to do so, without any restriction, as the Irish government does not really intend to make things the way they were before the pandemic hit.
Even Labour senator and employment spokesperson Marie Sherlock is pushing for legislation that guarantees workers the right to remote or hybrid work. In a public statement “We urgently need a ‘worker first’ framework that reflects the new world of work and how work has evolved over the past two years,” she said. “It makes sense for workers, for communities, for the environment and it’s an innovative way of helping to address the cost-of-living crisis.”