New legislation to give employees in Ireland the right to request remote work
The government is also looking at specific incentives to attract workers to relocate to rural areas.
The government has announced plans for legislation that will give employees the right to request remote work and to install remote working hubs in rural communities in order to attract workers to rural areas.
On Monday afternoon, it published its Our Rural Future plan, which sets out a blueprint for the development of rural Ireland over the next five years.
It is supported by 150 commitments, which the government has claimed will address the challenges facing communities and deliver new opportunities for people living in rural areas.
In a statement, the government said: "The policy will help rural Ireland to recover from the impacts of Covid-19, enable long-term development of rural areas, and create more resilient rural economies and communities for the future."
On the topic of remote working, the government aim to:
- establish a network of over 400 remote working hubs nationwide, to enable more people to live and work in rural communities;
- pilot co-working and hot desking hubs for public servants in regional towns;
- move to 20% remote working in the public sector in 2021, with further annual increase over the next five years;
- fund the repurposing of vacant buildings in town centres into remote working hubs;
- review the tax arrangements for remote working for both employers and employees as part of Budget 2022;
- introduce legislation in 2021 to provide employees with the right to request remote work;
- provide funding to Local Authorities to run targeted campaigns to attract remote workers to their area;
- examine the introduction of specific incentives to attract remote workers and mobile talent to live in rural towns.
The plan's 150 commitments will be implemented progressively over the next five years, while further commitments will be added over the lifetime of the policy "to respond to emerging needs and opportunities in rural areas".
Other areas the plan is focused on include the roll out of high-speed broadband, job creation, town centre regeneration, community development, improvements in regional and local roads, new cycling and walking infrastructure, expanded rural transport services and funding for tourism and culture and heritage projects.
To read more about the plan, see here.