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Flexible Working ROI

Yesterday, Simon Coveney TD, Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment, and Roderic O’Gorman TD, Minister for Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth, announced the commencement of the long-awaited Code of Practice giving employees the right to request remote working (RW) and flexible working (FW) arrangements specifically for parents and carers.

The Work Life Balance and Miscellaneous Provisions Act was enacted on 4 April 2023 and transposed Article 9 of the EU Work-Life Balance Directive. The Workplace Relations Commission (WRC) developed the Code of Practice in collaboration with industry stakeholders, which is now effective.

The government's policy aims to facilitate remote working as a sustainable practice, enhance family time, and reduce commuting stress. This policy fits well with other employee entitlements, including breastfeeding breaks, leave for medical care purposes, and domestic violence leave (see previous comms).

Key Points for Employers

  • Employees can make a remote working (RW) or flexible working (FW) request from their first day of employment but must have 6 months of employment before any arrangement starts. Any request must be made at least 8 weeks before the date the employee wants to start the proposed arrangement.
  • Employers are obligated to consider applications for remote and flexible working arrangements in accordance with the new Code of Practice.
  • Should disputes arise regarding the implementation or termination of these arrangements, employees have the right to refer these disputes to the WRC.
  • The Code of Practice will be admissible in legal proceedings related to employment rights and obligations.

Our HR team is reviewing these changes and the practical implications of the Code of Practice for employers. 

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