Groups representing trade unions and employers express concerns over Remote Working Bill

woman at desk working from home

The Joint Committee on Enterprise, Trade and Employment met today, Wednesday March 2nd, to resume pre-legislative scrutiny of the Right to Request Remote Work Bill 2022.

Groups representing trade unions and employers appeared before the Oireachtas Enterprise Committee to express their concerns about proposed new remote working legislation.

Employers group IBEC have questioned whether there’s a need for legislation around remote working. The group have asked members to consider introducing a Code of Practice instead of a statutory right.

IBEC’s Director of Employer Relations Maeve McElwee told the committee. “We believe that legislating for a statutory right to request remote work at this stage is premature and may stymie the ability for employers and employees to manage remote working in a creative and flexible way,”

Patricia King, General Secretary of the Irish Congress of Trade Unions told the Joint Oireachtas Committee that the proposed legislation was stacked in favour of the employer and was “fatally flawed” when it comes to grounds for refusal and grounds for appeal.

“ICTU and its affiliates are strongly of the view that an appeal to the WRC taking issue with the substantive decision of the employer must be provided. Without this, the proposed legislation is utterly pointless. Furthermore, there is no provision for a complaint that an employee was penalised, victimised or discriminated against as a result of having requested, appealed or engaged in remote working.”

The Government has said that it will listen to the concerns of stakeholders as it prepares its remote working legislation.