Dáil to debate Labour Party motion on right to flexible work

09 March 2022

Dáil Éireann will tomorrow (March 9th) debate a Labour Party motion on the right to flexible work. In response to the government’s bill which would effectively give employers the right to refuse requests from employees, the Labour Party want to make flexible work the default option and not the exception.

Speaking in advance of the Dáil motion, Labour finance spokesperson Ged Nash said there is overwhelming public support for a right to flexible work:

“The government are totally out of touch with where working people are at. There is a clear demand to keep the newfound flexibility of work for better access to employment and a better work life balance. It’s time to create an Ireland that works.

“There is massive interest in this issue from workers, women’s organisations, trade unions, disability groups and climate change campaigners. Earlier this month, the Labour Party published a bill following consultation with these stakeholders to prevent government from turning back the clocks in terms of work in Ireland.

“This is where working people are at. Results of an Ireland Thinks poll commissioned by the Labour Party showed an overwhelming demand from workers for this right – 71% of people believe in a right to flexible work. When you drill down into the statistics, there are clear cohorts of workers that this will benefit – namely women (81% of whom are in favour of the right to flexible work) and our young workers (with 81% of this cohort also in support of Labour’s position).

“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 and has showed a new way of living for commuters in particular. These gains cannot be lost and a right to flexible and remote work is key to cutting climate emissions, maintaining a better work/life balance, reducing the cost of living, reducing transport congestion and rejuvenating local communities.

“Work has evolved over the past number of years, driven by the success of flexible work during the pandemic. Let’s build on that experience and give workers the right to flexible work, where it has been proven to be made work.”

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