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)

Ms Patricia King:

Perhaps I can respond to the question on a code of practice. A code of practice does not have any enforceability. It is what it says it is. A code of practice can possibly highlight best practice and both parties can probably agree what best practice would look like. That is all it does. It creates a set of principles that suggest what should be done to do a job right from the perspective of both worker and employer. However, it has no further significance. It is not going to allay the fears of those workers whose position I outlined in response to Deputy Flaherty. It is not going to allay those fears at all. Therefore, in my judgment, it is not the route to go. There is a provision in the Act whereby the Minister can put forward a code of practice if he wants to. That probably relates more to the development of a remote working policy. There is a requirement in the proposed Bill for employers to publish their policies. I presume the code of practice was to assist consistency in that. Other than that, the answer is not a code of practice. I am clear on that.