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Varadkar: Government wants remote working to be 'permanent fixture of Irish working life'

Leo Varadkar says the Government wants to see remote working become a “permanent fixture of Iri...
Stephen McNeice
Stephen McNeice

11.33 19 Sep 2021


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Varadkar: Government wants rem...

Varadkar: Government wants remote working to be 'permanent fixture of Irish working life'

Stephen McNeice
Stephen McNeice

11.33 19 Sep 2021


Share this article


Leo Varadkar says the Government wants to see remote working become a “permanent fixture of Irish working life”.

He was speaking ahead of the start of the phased return to workplaces tomorrow.

It means thousands of workers are likely to return to their offices for the first time since last March - while some people who’ve started new jobs may be meeting their colleagues in person for the first time.

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Tomorrow will also see the return of activities such as dance classes, art classes and fitness classes for up to 100 people (once those people have been vaccinated or recently recovered from COVID-19).

All restrictions on outdoor group activities will be removed for participants, although limits on mass gatherings such as sports events will remain until October 22nd.

Tomorrow's easing of restrictions comes as 90% of Irish people aged over 16 have now been fully vaccinated.

Speaking ahead of the reopening, Tánaiste Leo Varadkar said thousands of businesses will now be opening for the first time since the pandemic began.

He said: “Now, thanks to the success of the vaccination programme, we are in a position to ease restrictions further and allow these indoor activities take place, including indoor exercise classes, bands, bowling alleys, amusement arcades, chess, bridge and other indoor activities.”

The Tánaiste suggested many people are also looking forward to the start of the return to offices.

He observed: “The pandemic has taught us what’s possible in terms of remote working. It transformed the world of work overnight. I hope we can learn something from what worked for workers and employers during that time and incorporate it post-Covid.

"We really want to see remote working become a permanent fixture of Irish working life.

“I hope employers are speaking to their staff to figure out what works best for them and the business as this phased return begins.”

The Government has already announced that work is underway on legislation that will give employees the right to request remote working.

Employers will not be obliged to say yes to such requests, although they will have to give reasons for turning them down.

With the phased return to workplaces underway, employers are not legally allowed ask staff about their vaccination status - meaning measures such as physical distancing will likely remain in place for many offices.

Main image: Leo Varadkar (Photo: Eamonn Farrell/RollingNews.ie) and a woman working from home (Photo: Joe Giddens/PA Wire/PA Images)

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