Wednesday, 10 February 2021

Questions (66)

Pádraig O'Sullivan

Question:

66. Deputy Pádraig O'Sullivan asked the Minister for the Environment, Climate and Communications the additional measures he is considering in order to facilitate long-term working from home in addition to legislating for the right to work from home; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [6690/21]

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Written answers (Question to Environment)

The Government’s strategy on remote working “Making Remote Work – National Remote Work Strategy” was published  last month. The Strategy recognises the significant advantages that remote working can bring such as less commuting, more time for family and leisure, fewer transport greenhouse gas emissions, new job opportunities for people who want to live in Rural Ireland and new investment in small towns and villages.

Among the Strategy’s main actions are:

- Mandating that home and remote work should be the norm for 20% of public sector employment;

- Mapping and investing in a network of remote working hubs across Ireland; and 

- Doing what we can to accelerate the provision of high-speed broadband to all parts of Ireland

The Programme for Government commits to seek to accelerate the roll out of the National Broadband Plan. In this regard, my Department continues to engage with NBI to explore the feasibility of accelerating aspects of this rollout to establish the possibility of bringing forward premises which are currently scheduled in years 6 and 7 of the current plan to an earlier date.

My Department is also involved in the work led by the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform to produce guidance which will assist civil service organisations in developing long term remote working policies.

The Remote Work Strategy also includes an action to legislate for the right to request remote working which will be taken forward by the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment.