Written answers

Thursday, 21 October 2021

Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment

Legislative Programme

Photo of Gerald NashGerald Nash (Louth, Labour)
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153. To ask the Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment the status of the proposed right to request legislation; if the legislation will be enacted by the end of 2021; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [51809/21]

Photo of Leo VaradkarLeo Varadkar (Dublin West, Fine Gael)
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The right to request remote work is part of the Government vision to make remote working a permanent feature of Ireland’s workforce in a way that can benefit all – economically, socially and environmentally.  The commitment to introduce legislation to underpin employees' right to request remote work was made in the national Remote Work Strategy published last January. 

The Bill will set out a clear framework to facilitate remote and blended work options, in so far as possible. It will ensure that when an employer declines a request, there are stated reasons for doing so. Remote working won’t work for everyone, so we will take a balanced approach with the legislation.

Informed by the public consultation and a review of international best practice, the drafting of the General Scheme of the Bill has commenced and I will be seeking Cabinet approval for the drafting of Heads of a Bill in Quarter 4 of 2021. The Bill will be progressed through the Oireachtas as quickly as possible thereafter. The intention is to introduce a mechanism for employees to request remote working that is fair but does not place an undue burden on employers.

In the meantime, we will also continue to provide up to date advice, guidance and information on all aspects of remote working for workers and employers. 

On 28th June I launched my department’s Making Remote Work campaign. The campaign aims to raise awareness of the advice and information available from Government to help workers and employers facilitate more remote and blended working. This includes guidance for employers and workers and a Remote Working Checklist which are all available on my Department’s website.


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