Oireachtas Joint and Select Committees

Wednesday, 2 March 2022

Joint Oireachtas Committee on Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation

General Scheme of the Right to Request Remote Work Bill 2022: Discussion (Resumed)

Photo of Garret AhearnGarret Ahearn (Fine Gael) | Oireachtas source

I thank Ms King and Ms McElwee for their contributions. They are miles apart in their views; nonetheless I thank them for coming before us.

Ms McElwee spoke about how employers are not yet fully aware of the opportunities of remote working. What, if anything, is IBEC doing to inform employers of the positive opportunities available to them? Is it engaging with companies that have been facilitating remote working for a long time, learning from them and giving that information to people who have concerns about offering remote working, whether blended or full remote working, to their employees?

In Ms McElwee's view, should the right of appeal be procedural, that is, should it follow legislation, or should it be substantive? Does she think it is right to disagree with the employer's decision where the WRC can adjudicate if the employer was correct to refuse? Some people would have concerns about that.

This legislation is being brought in for companies of all sizes. What is Ms McElwee's view on exempting some small companies? How would that be done? What size of companies would be exempt? The obvious problem is that if companies with five to ten staff are exempted, a company with 11 staff will have an issue with that. Where does Ms McElwee see that going? I understand how having this on top of everything else employers face could be a burden for small companies.


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