The Work Life Balance and Miscellaneous Provisions Act 2023 was passed by both Houses of the Oireachtas and signed into law by the President on April 4th, 2023. Although we are still waiting for the commencement of the provisions, Employers should ensure they are preparing for the implementation by the development of appropriate policies and procedures.

The Act has introduced significant legislative changes designed to allow for a better work-life balance for parents and carers, to encourage more equal sharing of parental responsibilities between men and women, and to try and improve the representation of women in the labour market.

In summary, the key changes are:

  • 5 days unpaid leave for medical care purposes for parents of children under 12, and carers.
  • 5 days paid leave for victims of domestic violence.
  • the right to request flexible working for parents and carers.
  • the right to request remote working for all Employees.
  • 2 years breastfeeding breaks.
Workplace Relations Commission Code of Practice Open Submission

While we await the commencement, most Employers are eager to gain insights on the right to request remote working and how that will impact their business. The Act makes provision for the publication of a Code of Practice, providing direction under Section 20(2) of the Workplace Relations Act, 2015 for the WRC to prepare the Code. Once completed the Code of Practice will provide further detail on matters relating to the right to request remote working.

In this context the WRC is undertaking a public consultation with a view to drafting the Code of Practice on the ‘’Right to Request Remote Working’’, which will set out practical guidance for Employers and Employees as to the steps that may be taken for complying with the requirements of the Act in relation to applications for flexible or remote working.

Right now, an invitation for submissions on this matter is open to the public and the WRC has indicated that this process will remain open until 5pm on June 9, 2023. Further details can be found here.

Until such time as the Code of Practice is published Employers should review their existing policies in order to understand the impact of the legislative requirements and what may have to be amended to align to the Code.

Adare Human Resource Management will be keeping you abreast of any developments in this area and is here to deal with any of your questions in relation to the Work Life Balance Miscellaneous Provisions Act, 2023.