Labour calls for legal right to flexible work

Senator Annie Hoey image
15 January 2024

Labour’s Senator Annie Hoey has called for a legal right to flexible work for all workers, following the publication of the Hays Ireland Salary & Recruiting Trends Guide 2024. The survey found that 38% of Irish employers will require their employees to spend more time in the office in 2024, despite the benefits of remote and hybrid work models during the pandemic.

Senator Hoey said:

“This survey confirms what we have been saying for a long time: everyone who can work remotely should have a legal entitlement to flexible work from day one. Flexible work is not only good for workers’ well-being, productivity and work-life balance, but also for the environment, the economy and the society. It reduces commuting, congestion, emissions, costs and inequalities. It also enables workers to choose where they live and work, and to access opportunities that might otherwise be out of reach.

“There is no consideration of the needs of new graduates who are entering the labour market in unprecedented circumstances. They have no certainty or assurances around working arrangements. They deserve to have a say in how they work and where they work.

“The world of work is changing and this government is totally out of touch with where working people are at. They have dragged their feet on introducing a meaningful right to request remote work, which is not enough to guarantee workers’ choice and autonomy.

“Labour has consistently pushed the government to be on the side of workers and progress a modern bill that takes account of the realities of the workplace of today. It is disappointing that the government was not brave enough to stare down employer lobby groups and build on the pandemic gains in work by enshrining a legal right to flexibility into law for all workers.

“We have seen perhaps 15 years of change in the workplace pushed into two years. Government must be brave and do the right thing for workers, business and the economy by providing a legal right to flexible work. Labour will continue to fight for this right and to ensure that workers have a voice and a say in how they work.”

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