“THESE are very difficult times for employees and businesses and support is needed now more than ever for employees looking for flexible working conditions,” said MEP Deirdre Clune.
“It is vital that both businesses and their employees work together at this time to manage the circumstances we are facing.
“The current pandemic situation has clearly demonstrated that remote and flexible employment can work successfully and I very much welcome news today that the Government is focused on this.
“Many businesses have been fantastic to their employees during this Covid-19 crisis but we need to keep people in the workforce if we can and it is vital to work together to achieve that.
“Last year the European Parliament approved an EU Directive on work-life balance. A requirement of the directive extends the right to flexible working arrangements, such as remote working for employees returning from parental leave.
“Member States, like Ireland have three years to implement this Directive.
“The parental Leave and benefit Bill 2019 was a part of implementing this – increasing the amount of leave that can be taken by parents both paid and unpaid and this came into force on 1st November last year.
“A major element in this directive from the European Parliament is the right for parents to request flexible working arrangements, such as remote working.
“Many companies in Ireland already offer employees the option of remote working but this directive goes further to ensure that employees have the right to specifically request it.
“It is now more important than ever that employees are given the option of flexible work. The overall aim of this directive is to improve access to work-life balance arrangements.”