A national policy on flexible working is needed to ensure that Ireland is prepared for the changing world of work, a Fine Gael TD has said.
Chair of the Oireachtas Committee on Rural and Community Development, Clare TD, Joe Carey said, “The world of work is changing, and we must ensure we are changing with it.
“A new national policy on flexible working, outlining clear guidelines on how flexible working can be promoted across various sectors and dealing with any legislative changes, is needed.
“Flexible working has the potential to bring about dramatic improvements to our work/life balance and to our family lives, and it is important we ensure businesses of all types are equipped to provide flexible working arrangements.
“From a business point of view, it makes sense to provide working arrangements that are attractive to staff and will help retain skilled workers in your organisation. With the country at full employment it is imperative that businesses are empowered to retain and attract talent.
“Flexible working options may include: starting or finishing work at differing times, working compressed hours, having access to flexi-time, being able to work remotely and having the right to disconnect outside work hours.
“With the signing of the contract for the National Broadband Plan, remote working will become a realistic prospect for thousands more people who may want to work from home or from a local co-working hub, effectively cancelling their commute and allowing them to spend more time with their family.
“This will also benefit the continued development of our regions, with community co-working hubs acting as a catalyst for local economic development.
“Flexible working arrangements are also more attractive to helping parents, particularly women, return to work after taking a period out of work to raise their families.
“A public consultation is underway seeking the public’s views on flexible working as part of Future Jobs Ireland, the whole of Government plan to prepare our businesses and workers for the future.I encourage people to give their views to this consultation; there are a number of ways people can have their say. Detailed submissions are invited and can be made by emailing [email protected]
“Alternatively, you can submit your views by completing a short questionnaire on the Department of Justice and Equality’s website. The survey and additional information about the consultation can be found at justice.ie/en/JELR/Pages/Public_Consultation_on_Flexible_Working.
“A previous study on the topic of remote working carried out by the Government under Future Jobs Ireland – an all of Government plan to future proof our economy – should also play into a strategy on flexible working,” Deputy Carey concluded.