Submissions sought on Bill to give workers ‘right to switch off’ from online work

Public submissions are being sought on a new code of practice giving employees the legal right to disconnect while working from home after an increase in remote working during the Covid-19 pandemic.

The Workplace Relations Commission is being tasked with designing the code that, once approved by Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment Leo Varadkar, would be admissible as evidence in court proceedings.

“We want remote working to become a bigger part of life after Covid. If done right, the benefits will be huge. However, it is vitally important that the existing rights and entitlements that employees enjoy are maintained and that an appropriate work-life balance is struck,” said Mr Varadkar

The intention of the code would be to ensure employers and employees are aware of their requirements and entitlements and understand how they apply, especially for remote working.

“It’s really important that we get this right so that employees can switch off from work properly,” said Mr Varadkar.

The commission is inviting submissions up to January 22nd, 2021.

The Tánaiste said that working from home had become the norm for many people over the past year and that while technology has enabled people to remain connected “in a way that wasn’t possible years ago, it also has its downsides.”

“This new code will help all workers strike a better balance between home and work life,” he said.

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