Wednesday, 3 November 2021
Department of Public Expenditure and Reform
92. To ask the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform if his Department has adopted the Workplace Relations Commission Code of Conduct on the Right to Disconnect; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [53484/21]
I wish to inform the Deputy that the rights of employees to disconnect and switch off from work, enshrined in the Workplace Relations Commission Code of Practice on “The Right to Disconnect”, represent one of 19 underlying Themes of 5 key, interrelated Dimensions of employee health and wellbeing identified in the Civil Service Health and Wellbeing Frameworkprepared by my Department. The Civil Service HR Division in my Department is currently preparing an Information Note for Civil Service employers on the “Right to Disconnect”.
The Civil Service is committed to providing a safe and healthy work environment for all civil servants and to ensure that their health, welfare and wellbeing at work is, as far as possible, reasonably protected. The Civil Service Health and Wellbeing Frameworkhas been drawn up to support Civil Service Departments and Offices in developing their own health and wellbeing programmes and to enable them to respond to the individual needs and characteristics of their organisations. The Framework is a guidance document, which outlines the importance of a healthy Civil Service workplace in safeguarding employee health and wellbeing across 5 key Dimensions.
93. To ask the Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht if her Department has adopted the Workplace Relations Commission Code of Conduct on the Right to Disconnect; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [53820/21]
The Workplace Relations Commission's (WRC’s) Code of Practice provides guidance on best practice to organisations and their employees on the Right to Disconnect. It is not a question of organisations adopting the WRC Code of Practice but a question of working up their own tailored policy. As stated in the Code of Practice, employers should engage proactively with employees and/or their trade union or other employees’ representatives to develop a Right to Disconnect Policy that takes account of the particular needs of the organisation and its workforce.
Discussions are underway among several Departments - including my Department - to develop cross-Departmental guidance in order to support individual Departments to develop their Right to Disconnect policies.