Written answers

Thursday, 17 December 2020

Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment

Flexible Work Practices

Paul McAuliffe (Dublin North West, Fianna Fail)
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131. To ask the Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment his progress in relation to updating the national remote working policy; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [43929/20]

Photo of Michael MoynihanMichael Moynihan (Cork North West, Fianna Fail)
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148. To ask the Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment the way in which he is supporting home working; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [43807/20]

Photo of Ciarán CannonCiarán Cannon (Galway East, Fine Gael)
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180. To ask the Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment the work his Department is engaging in with other Departments and agencies in terms of the development of remote working opportunities given the immense benefits for communities; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [43949/20]

Photo of Leo VaradkarLeo Varadkar (Dublin West, Fine Gael)
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I propose to take Questions Nos. 131, 148 and 180 together.

As our country continues to navigate Covid-19, remote working has become more important than ever before.

To date, my Department has had a strong focus on the topic of remote work. In December 2019, my Department published the Remote Work in Ireland report which outlined the prevalence and types of remote working arrangements in Ireland as well as the factors influencing its adoption. This year, as a response to COVID-19, my Department launched a new webpage dedicated to providing guidance for remote working for both employers and employees.

In July, my Department launched a Public Consultation on Remote Work. We received 522 submissions from employers, employees, representative bodies and special interest groups. Based on the insights garnered from the consultation, we updated our guidance webpage to include new information. The guidance webpage now includes a checklist for employers considering adopting remote working arrangements in the longer term. The guidance webpage will continue to be updated regularly to act as a live resource for employers and employees.

Building on this work, my Department is currently developing a national Remote Work Strategy. An Interdepartmental Group (IDG) was formed to steer the delivery of the Strategy. This Group has broad representation across government departments and state agencies. The Strategy will consider what changes are needed to develop an environment that encourages remote working solutions. The Strategy will include a set of actions to be delivered and an Implementation Group will monitor the progress of these actions.

It is expected that the Strategy will be published very shortly.

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