New 'work-from-home legislation' to be enshrined in Irish law to revolutionise employee landscape forever
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New 'work-from-home legislation' to be enshrined in Irish law to revolutionise employee landscape forever

PEOPLE in Ireland will soon be legally entitled to work from home after the Government confirmed its support for newly released employment legislation.

The new measures will aid employees seeking to work remotely, affording them legal rights and protections should they wish to challenge their employers.

Moreover, new legally admissible codes of practice will be introduced giving people the right to disconnect from work, and making them inaccessible - by emails, phone calls, etc - for a certain number of hours each day.

The legislation expected to be introduced before the end of the year.

The moves are presumably intended to compliment one another, as some have complained about reduced 'switch off' time since working from home.

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Government officials have also proposed that up to 20% of public sector workers should regularly work from home in the future, though they accept that this is a rough estimate, and liable to change with demand for certain frontline services, such as healthcare.

This would nonetheless radically alter the employment landscape throughout the country, as 9-5 working days have been a staple fixture in (pre-pandemic) Irish life. 

Working from home legislation will be enshrined in Irish law to change the employee landscape forever

Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise Leo Varadker has published a report outlining the measures being proposed.

Several new infrastructural objectives are also listed in the report; most notably the acceleration national broadband plans, and the establishment of new remote work hubs that are in proximity to accessible childcare facilities.

The report says: "The presence of remote working hubs with high-speed broadband could facilitate many to work locally and result in increased regional employment and lower carbon emissions".

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Commenting on the plans, Mr Varadkar said: "The requirement to work from home, where possible for reasons of public health, has demonstrated how viable home, remote and blended work can be.

"Post-pandemic, I want remote working to be part of a whole new world and this Government strategy sets out how we will enable it."

He went on to state that remote working "has become the norm for many in 2020", and applauded its benefits such as more flexibility, less commuting and more time for family and friends.

"It's better for the transport emissions, and for quality of life, but it has to be done right," Varadkar added.