87% of employees in the West of Ireland would like to work remotely in the future.

That's according to a recent CSO report, published ahead of proposed new legislation providing the right to request remote working.

Tánaiste Leo Varadker unveiled the heads of the Bill yesterday, and said that now Covid-19 restrictions have been lifted, he wanted workers to have a choice of being able to work remotely or in hybrid arrangements if they wishes.

Under the plans, employers will be able to refuse on at least 13 different grounds, but will have to be able to justify the decision if it's appealed either internally or to the Workplace Relations Commission.

The Tanaiste said working from home is not possible in some jobs.

Under the proposals, all employers must have a formal remote working policy, and employees hoping to work from home may have to carry out a self-assessment in issues like the suitability of their workspace, internet connectivity and data protection requirements.

Meanwhile, there will be 400 Government-backed remote working hubs located across the State by the end of this year, according to the Minister for Rural & Community Development.

Minister Heather Humphreys-  who recently officially opened such a hub in Swinford - says there are 177 hubs already using the Connected Hubs.ie platform, and this is expected to increase to 400 by the end of this year - three years ahead of the schedule announced by Government last year.

She says one of the issues that has emerged for people working remotely is a desire to create a distinction between their homes and workspaces, and having an office-like hub within a short distance of their homes in rural Ireland would address that issue.



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