In its pre-legislative review of the proposed Right to Request Remote Working Bill 2022, the Committee on Enterprise, Trade and Employment has made a number of recommended changes.
It has been recommended that the requirement for an employee to have worked 26 weeks before making a request should be removed or reduced to 12 weeks or less.
The Committee noted that the 13 grounds for refusal are “cumbersome and require change” and should be grounded in a stated policy from employers based on Codes of Practice drawn up by the Workplace Relations Commission. Unions have also been critical of these grounds, saying they are stacked in favour of employers.
The Committee also recommended the inclusion of tighter grounds in the legislation so that unreasonable refusals can be challenged. In addition, they put forward that remote working should also include hybrid and flexible working, and that to support smaller businesses, bureaucracy involved in drawing up policies should be kept to a minimum.
It had been initially stated that the proposed legislation would be in place before the summer recess. However, it is most likely going to be Autumn 2022 with changes made over the summer.