Tánaiste Leo Varadkar recently published details of a new Law – The Right to Request Remote Working Bill 2021 which will give employees the right to request remote working.
The aim is to allow remote working to be a choice. The proposed legislation sets out how the legal framework around requesting, approving, or refusing a request for remote work can be based.
Ultimately an employer can refuse the right to remote working but the legislation allows for a right of appeal to the Workplace Relations Commission (“WRC”) by the Employee in circumstances where the Employer has failed to respond to a request within the timeframe allowed or to provide any reasonable grounds for a refusal of a request.
An Appeal to the WRC can also be made for protections for employee from penalisation for having exercised their entitlement to request remote working.
Workers Unions have criticised the Bill as drafted currently as they are of the view that there are not enough grounds to appeal against a refusal by an employer.