As we plan to move forward from COVID-19 forced remote working, the Government sought input on guidance for employers and employees. The CIPD considers that such guidance must adopt an all-government approach. Early in 2020 the Department of Justice and Equality consulted on flexible working, and now the Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation is examining remote working.
To most business and individuals these are not separate philosophies but require an integrated and consistent approach as to how and where work gets done. As technology, AI and automation impact the nature and ways of working, a more systemic effort to build the infrastructure to support flexibility and agility for individuals and organisations is what is needed across Government.
The consultation on remote working covers:
- Government Guidance for working remotely during COVID-19, incorporating the
- Health and Safety Authority’s COVID-19 FAQs for Employers and Employees in relation to Home-Working on a temporary basis
The definition of remote working in this consultation is too narrow, and serves to avoid addressing the real flexible working factors that business and the economy need for the future. Putting the onus on place – where work get done – is too fixed and traditional a view for the future of work.
The 2019 Future Jobs Ireland framework specifically calls out fostering participation in the labour force through flexible working solutions and deliverables, and this philosophy needs to be integrated into government guidance and be part of our inclusion agenda.
With its many benefits, the CIPD considers flexible working should become the norm, not the exception, for workers. More action is needed by Government to support an environment that will maximise the post COVID-19 uptake of flexible working arrangements and create more inclusive, diverse and productive workplaces that suit both the needs of organisations and individuals.
Read the full submission in the download below.