Wednesday, 3 November 2021
Department of Defence
106. To ask the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence 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. [53810/21]
My Department is committed to providing a positive working environment and to the wellbeing of its employees, as well as complying with the provisions of employment law. Throughout the current pandemic, information to promote wellbeing at work has been provided to employees, including in relation to how to manage their work, particularly when working remotely.
A central policy framework for Blended Working in the Civil Service will be finalised in conjunction with employee representatives over the coming months. This framework will inform the development of organisation level blended working policies tailored to the specific requirements of each Department or Office. Once the framework is finalised, my Department will develop a policy appropriate to the business needs of the organisation. This policy will be informed by the principle of an employee's Right to Disconnect in line with the Workplace Relations Commission Code of Practice.
While the Code provides guidance on best practice for organisations and their employees, it advises that employers should engage proactively with employees and their representatives to develop a Right to Disconnect Policy that takes account of the particular needs of the organisation and its workforce and this will inform the approach of my Department to the issue.