By Chamber Press Office, 06 July 2023
Dublin Chamber Outlines Concerns to WRC With Regard to Drafting Right to Request Code of Practice
Dublin Chamber has made a submission to the Workplace Relations Commission in response to their open consultation on drafting a Code of Practice to Govern the Right to Request Remote Work. Over the past two and a half years, Dublin Chamber has gathered extensive feedback and insights from businesses on the topic of remote working, through the use of surveys, roundtable discussions, as well as member-elected council and taskforce meetings. Dublin Chamber has used this research and member feedback to effectively represent and advocate for the needs of Dublin businesses with regard to remote working at the highest levels of Government.
Within the context of Dublin Chamber’s submission, informed by our extensive research on this subject, Dublin Chamber outlined and elaborated on some of these concerns, advocating for their careful consideration by the Workplace Relations Commission (WRC) during the design phase of the Code of Practice. To read the submission in full click here and for an overview of the headline recommendations, please see below:
- Introduce eligibility criteria through the Code of Practice for remote work requests.
- Be considerate of the individual models of remote working already in place for different companies.
- Provide clear guidance on employer obligations and the application and appeals process for requests.
- Avoid designing an onerous Code of Practice that may discourage Foreign Direct Investment.
- Provide clarity on insurance obligations for employers and employees in remote working environments.
- Include a ‘self declaration’ clause as part of remote work applications.
- Clearly define technical requirements and specifications necessary for remote work.
- Provide an appropriate definition and adequate guidance on remote working locations.
- Address taxation implications of remote work.
- Clarify that employers retain the right to specify a place of employment within an employee's contract.
- Ensure that granting remote work requests does not negate the expectation that employees will attend the office when required.
- Include a "humanity clause" in the Code of Practice recognising the importance of maintaining social and collaborative aspects of work while working remotely.
- Evaluate and mitigate adverse effects on teamwork and employee well-being caused by remote work arrangements.
Complimentary support requested for employers:
- Government must provide grants and financial support for SMEs to navigate the costs associated with remote working arrangements, including technology infrastructure and training.
- The WRC should collaborate with the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) to update health & safety guidelines to ensure alignment with the obligations included within the Code of Practice.
- Government must share best practices and successful case studies to guide employers in effectively implementing remote work policies aligned with the legislation.
- As Ireland continues to have one of the EU’s highest cost levels for early childhood education and care and one of the worst parental leave entitlements, it is critical that remote working does not double as a means of providing childcare, which would, in turn, remove the impetus on Government to tackle the current childcare cost crisis. Dublin Chamber continues to call for Government to move to a more universal model of childcare and increase childcare subsidies.