Wednesday, 8 May 2019

Questions (1389)

Maurice Quinlivan

Question:

1389. Deputy Maurice Quinlivan asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection her plans to introduce legislation to regulate remote working in order to protect both the rights of workers and interests of businesses; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [19139/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Employment)

Ireland already has a comprehensive body of employment legislation, in respect of which the Workplace Relations Commission (WRC) is mandated to secure compliance.  Ireland’s employment rights legislation protects all employees who are legally employed on a contract of service basis.

Where an individual believes they are being deprived of employment rights applicable to employees, they may refer a complaint to the WRC where the matter can be dealt with by way of mediation or adjudication, leading to a decision that is enforceable through the District Court.  WRC inspectors can also be asked to investigate certain breaches.  Complaints can be made on a single online complaint form available at the WRC’s website: www.workplacerelations.ie and the Workplace Relations Customer Service Section can be contacted at Lo-call: 1890 80 80 90 or via its website www.workplacerelations.ie.

In view of the legislation already in place, it's not clear at this juncture what specific additional legislative provisions would be required to regulate remote working.  However, my Department continuously monitors existing employment rights legislation to ensure that it continues to be relevant and fit for purpose and is updated to reflect international developments at European Union, Court of Justice and International Labour Organisation level.  It also works extensively with the Departments of Business, Enterprise and Innovation and Justice & Equality (which has lead responsibility for policy in the area of 'work-life balance') in this regard.

Where any new legislation is proposed, my Department engages in extensive consultation with all relevant stakeholders, to ensure that an appropriate balance is struck between the rights of workers and the interests of business.

I hope this clarifies the matter for the Deputy.