Making Remote Work: National Remote Work Strategy

Posted in : Supplementary Articles ROI on 18 January 2021
Legal Island
Legal Island
Issues covered: Remote working

The Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment Leo Varadkar TD, has published Ireland’s first National Remote Work Strategy to make remote working a permanent option for life after the pandemic. The Strategy sets out plans to strengthen the rights and responsibilities of employers and employees, to provide the infrastructure to work remotely, and sets out clear guidance on how people can be empowered to work remotely from the office.

Headline actions include:  

  • Legislate to provide employees the right to request remote working
  • Introduce a legally admissible code of practice on the right to disconnect from work – covering phone calls, emails and switch-off time
  • Invest in remote work hubs, ensuring they are in locations that suit commuters and are close to childcare facilities
  • Explore the acceleration of the National Broadband Plan
  • Review the treatment of remote working for the purposes of tax and expenditure in the next Budget
  • Lead by example by mandating that home and remote working should be the norm for 20% of public sector employees

These actions will be completed over the course of 2021. An Implementation Group will be formed to monitor the progress of the actions with meetings being held every four months.

The Strategy was developed under the guidance of a broad Interdepartmental Group consisting of Government Departments and State Agencies. The research for the Strategy draws from the findings of the 2019 Remote Work in Ireland report, the results of the Public Consultation on Remote Work Guidance, and new research carried out on the topic in 2020.

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There are numerous benefits that can stem from remote working which will help improve work/life balance, child and family wellbeing and also reduce the amount of time spent commuting for workers across Ireland. 

The strategy also notes however that the increased adoption of remote work is not without challenges. Research has highlighted different impacts for employees and employers. In the case of employees, remote working is linked with negative effects on mental health and wellbeing, with workers experiencing feelings of isolation, loneliness and stress. Employees also experience difficulty switching off and keeping regular working hours.

eLearning | Employee Wellbeing Toolkit

Working from home or remotely can be challenging and isolating for many people, that's why we have put together an Employee Wellbeing eLearning Toolkit for all staff.

Courses included in this toolkit:
+ Mental Health & Wellbeing
+ Coping with Fatigue
+ Managing Stress
+ Building Resilience

I'm Interested > 


This article is correct at 18/01/2021

The information in this article is provided as part of Legal-Island's Employment Law Hub. We regret we are not able to respond to requests for specific legal or HR queries and recommend that professional advice is obtained before relying on information supplied anywhere within this article.

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