Written answers

Thursday, 17 December 2020

Department of Rural and Community Development

Flexible Work Practices

Claire Kerrane (Roscommon-Galway, Sinn Fein)
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63. To ask the Minister for Rural and Community Development the status of the interdepartmental group set up within her Department to examine the remote working hubs and co-working spaces; when the group is due to report; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [43917/20]

Photo of Heather HumphreysHeather Humphreys (Cavan-Monaghan, Fine Gael)
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Remote working has the potential to transform rural Ireland, allowing people to build careers in good quality jobs while continuing to live closer to home. It also provides an opportunity for those that moved away to return to their roots to raise their families.

My Department is collaborating with the Western Development Commission (WDC) to develop a national integrated network of remote working hubs, supported by shared back-office services. The national network will build upon the work of the WDC in developing a Hub Network along the Atlantic Economic Corridor, from Kerry to Donegal.

The development of the national network is being overseen by an Interdepartmental Working Group chaired by the Secretary General of my Department. The Working Group is made up of representatives from:

- Department of Rural and Community Development

- Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment

- Department of Environment, Climate and Communications

- Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media

- Enterprise Ireland

- IDA

- Údaras na Gaeltachta

- The Western Development Commission

The Working Group has met twice since its inception. As part of its work programme, it will, inter alia,:

- Develop and map a national dataset of remote working hub infrastructure, facilities and services;

- Identify appropriate development models for different remote working facilities in line with a classification model developed by the WDC; and

- Raise awareness of hub facilities to support remote working across Ireland.

The first deliverable from the Interdepartmental Group will be to publish a composite national map of remote working hubs across the country by the end of Q1 2021.

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