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Programme for Government prioritises better work-life balance – Higgins

22nd June 2020 - Emer Higgins, TD

The Programme for Government contains a suite of measures to promote a better work life balance, a Fine Gael TD has said. 


Deputy Emer Higgins said the commitments to facilitate remote working and a right to disconnect would be welcome news to many employees around the country. 


Deputy Higgins said: “We must take the good things we have learned from the pandemic and apply them towards a resilient future.


“The Programme commits to facilitating and supporting remote working, reducing the time wasted in our cars and ensuring that families have more time together. 


“The document commits to mandating public sector employers, colleges, and other public bodies to move to 20% home and remote working in 2021. 


“A national remote working policy to facilitate employees in working from home, or from co-working spaces in rural areas, will be developed and will support the retention of skilled young people in rural communities. 


“The feasibility and merits of changing tax arrangements to encourage more people to work remotely will also be examined.


“Ensuring access to high-quality internet connections for people across Ireland is essential to the development of all parts our country, socially and economically and will also be prioritised with the acceleration of the National Broadband Plan.”


Deputy Higgins continued: “Another hugely important measure contained in the Programme is the commitment to bringing forward proposals this year on a right to disconnect.


“In an increasingly digital age, this is so important for maintaining a work life balance. We will also consider a role for the Workplace Relations Commission in drawing up a code in this area.”


Deputy Higgins concluded: “Recent figures I received from Minister Richard Bruton revealed that Ireland’s emissions for 2020 are expected to be slashed by up to 7% due to the impact of the COVID crisis, including remote working.


“Facilitating remote working and innovation opportunities is essential for addressing climate change, adapting to an evolving economy and competing internationally.”



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