The National Remote Working Strategy in Ireland has just been published. Before December 2021, the Government plans to implement legislation entitling employees to request remote working on a permanent basis. In Quarter 1 of 2021, a Code of Practice is expected to be published governing workers entitlements to disconnect from work in the evenings and at weekends. The Strategy envisages enhanced tax incentives for home workers and investment in remote working hubs as well as an acceleration of the national broadband strategy. We look at what this means for employers in Ireland.
WHAT IS HAPPENING?
The Irish government published the National Remote Working Strategy on 15 January 2021. The Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment ("DETE") is responsible for the Strategy. The Strategy outlines the key government objectives as they relate to remote working, not as a short term measure in response to the pandemic, but as a way of doing business and working in Ireland into the future and starting in 2021. A recent Irish survey recorded that 94% of workers support continued remote working after the pandemic.
The Strategy focuses on the following:
- Implementing laws to give employees the right to request remote working;
- Developing a Code of Practice governing employees' right to disconnect;
- Making home and remote working a requirement for at least 20% of the public sector;
- Reviewing the tax treatment of remote working;
- Investing in a network of remote working hubs across Ireland to revive rural areas; and
- Accelerating the provision of high-speed broadband across Ireland.
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