Dáil debates

Thursday, 8 February 2024

Ceisteanna ar Sonraíodh Uain Dóibh - Priority Questions

Employment Rights

9:20 am

Photo of Simon CoveneySimon Coveney (Cork South Central, Fine Gael) | Oireachtas source

I thank the Deputy and I am glad to have the opportunity to update the House because, to be fair to the WRC, it has concluded its work and I have seen a draft copy as of yesterday.

The Work Life Balance and Miscellaneous Provisions Act was enacted on 4 April 2023 and represents a significant advance in terms of workplace entitlements for all employees, parents and carers in particular. The right to request remote working will be available to all employees under the Act. The right to request flexible working arrangements will be available to parents and carers too. The right to request remote working is part of a broader Government vision to make remote working a permanent feature of Ireland’s workforce in a way that can benefit all economically, socially and environmentally.

Under the Act, employers will be obliged to have regard to a code of practice when considering applications for remote working arrangements. The purpose of the code is to provide practical guidance to employers and employees when complying with the right to request remote working provisions of the Act. Employees will be able to refer a dispute to the Workplace Relations Commission where an employer fails to meet their obligations under the Act.

Work on the development of the code of practice has been ongoing in the WRC since a public consultation closed in June 2023. In conducting its work, the WRC carried out a public consultation, reviewed submissions received, assessed relevant policy documents and research, and considered best practice in other jurisdictions.

The WRC has now completed its work and submitted a draft code of practice for employers and employees on the right to request flexible working and the right to request remote working to me on 24 January 2024. I will now review the submitted code of practice in consultation with the Minister for Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth, as is required under the Act. Following the approval of the code of practice, which I expect to happen soon, it is intended that the remote working provisions of the Act will be commenced as soon as is practicable.


No comments

Log in or join to post a public comment.