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Employees could be given a legal right to request home working, Tánaiste says

Leo Varadkar said the idea is being considered as part of a public consultation.

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TÁNAISTE LEO VARADKAR has said the government is looking at providing people with the legal right to request remote working in their employment.

The Enterprise Minister was speaking this afternoon at the announcement of 700 new jobs by parcel delivery company DPD

Asked whether enough is being done to encourage employers to facilitate staff working from home, Varadkar said that a public consultation is being put in train to look at the issue. 

“I know when we started developing our strategy on remote working we were thinking how can we encourage people to do this, in some ways now the question is how are we going to encourage people to get back to the office, when that’s possible again,” he said.

Varadkar added that from his point of view what many people want is a form of blended working, where they can work from home, in the office or in a “remote hub” on different days. 

The kind of things we’re considering is giving people the legal right to request home working or remote working, it doesn’t mean they get it but the right to request it. 

“Also this whole issue of the right to disconnect, because I don’t think anybody wants our home to turn into our full time workplace so that’s an issue too.”

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Announcing tougher Covid-19 restrictions on Wednesday, Taoiseach Michéál Martin said that if more people work from home it will have an impact on the virus transmission rate.

“It is time to go back to remote working. We know it works. It is possible, and it would have a very significant impact in reducing transmission rates in our view,” he said.

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Rónán Duffy

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