New Remote Working Laws to Impact the Future of the Workplace
Over the past 12 months, the Irish workplace has undergone a shift of Titanic proportions. Most office workers are now working from home and a return to the office looks even further away. The Government have given us some insight into what life after the Covid-19 pandemic might look like. They have outlined new measures under Ireland’s first National Remote Work Strategy. The new laws will empower employees to work from home and are set to revolutionise the landscape for employees forever in this country.
Under the radical plan, home and remote working is set to become the norm for 20pc of public-sector employees, spelling the death knell of the traditional 9-to-5 office-based job for tens of thousands of people across the country.
The rights of employees to request remote working will be underpinned by legislation and, separately, there will be a code of conduct introduced on the right to disconnect and switch off from engaging with emails or other messages during non-work hours.
In addition, an acceleration of the National Broadband Plan is being explored:
“in parallel with the measure required to mitigate delays arising as a result of Covid-19”.”
There will also be an investment in remote work hubs, ensuring they are in locations that suit commuters and are close to childcare facilities.
He added: “We want remote, blended and flexible working arrangements” to be a much bigger part of life after Covid.
“Employment rights need to be updated, we need to give guidance, and in many cases, we need to provide actual physical working space.”
The report stated: “Currently in Ireland, all employees can request the right to remote work from their employers, but there is no legal framework around which a request can be framed. Introducing legislation on this topic will provide employees with a framework around which such a request could be based.
“Equally, it could provide clarity to employers on best practice on dealing with such requests.”
Another component of the new remote working laws is to promote ‘blended’ working, allowing people to choose when they work and where they work.
At Radius, we have seen lots of SMEs invest in hardware and software to enable their staff to work from home. Many of the investments have been a more temporary fix to allow remote working. If remote working is to become more of a permanent solution then a digital transformation is needed .i.e a modernisation of all technology and a move from on-premise systems to the cloud from both an IT and Telecoms perspective. Then employees can access drives, files and software in a safe and structured manner and converse with customers and colleagues seamlessly. But more importantly, a move to the cloud means remote workers have the same access to these resources as if they were in the office.