Right to remote work key to ending commuter chaos

24 January 2022

Labour Transport spokesperson and Dublin Fingal TD Duncan Smith has today (Monday 24th January) said the right to remote working is key to ending commuter chaos, rejuvenating our towns and villages, cutting climate emissions and reducing the cost of living for workers.  

Deputy Smith said: 

“As businesses across the country set about calling their staff back into the office, this will result in thousands of workers taking to personal and public transport again, including thousands from my constituency of Fingal in the Dublin commuter belt. The reality of this means that the start and the end of thousands of people’s days will be being stuck in traffic or on overcrowded public transport. We know that more investment is needed, however, this alone won’t solve the underlying causes of this unsustainable commuter flow. A right to flexible and remote work is key to ending this commuter chaos once and for all.  

“The development over the last two years in both information technology and the increased knowledge of how to use it has been a game changer, enabling many of us to work throughout the pandemic from our homes or local workplace hubs. These gains cannot be lost and that is why Labour is demanding the Right to Flexible Work. This would give more workers the power and choice to work from home. Among the key gains from a rights based approach to flexible work will be cutting climate emissions, maintaining a better work/life balance, reducing the cost of living, reducing transport congestion and rejuvenating local communities.”   

Labour believes what is needed is a ‘workers first’ agenda promoted by government because the gains from a Right to Flexible Work can only be measured on the society wide and global level.

“These are issues that are the concern of government and necessitate legislation that will empower workers and seek to advance the common good. These gains far outweigh enterprise level managerial concerns, although Labour does understand that the government must assist enterprises in adjusting to these essential changes to the nature of work.”  

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