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Government must back workers in phased return to on-site working - Louise O’Reilly TD

3 September, 2021 - by Louise O'Reilly TD

Sinn Féin spokesperson on Workers’ Rights Louise O’Reilly TD has said that the government must back workers in the ‘phased’ return to on-site working.

Teachta O’Reilly said:

“Since the announcement by government that they expect a phased return to office-based working from September 22nd, many workers have expressed concern as to what this will mean for remote and blended working in the future.

“Currently, due to the failure of the government to prioritise legislation in this area, workers do not have the right to request remote or blended working, or for such a request to be considered.

“In the absence of this firm legal footing for workers, the government must publicly state that their preferred option is for employers and managers to agree for a blended working model with workers and their trade unions, which takes into account the health and safety of workers.

“The government should lead by example in this regard and ensure remote and blending working options are offered to workers in the civil and public service.

“This also means that the Tánaiste, Minister for Enterprise, Trade, and Employment, Leo Varadkar, needs to give a firm definition of what blended working should look like and what it entails for employers and workers alike.

“In the immediate term the government, and the Tánaiste, need to publicly call for employers and managers to offer workers blended working options.

"They then need to progress legislation to put the right to request remote working on a firm legal footing so workers can have clarity and certainty as soon as possible.”

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