Remote working gains in rural communities cannot be lost – Galway TD

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Roscommon-Galway TD Claire Kerrane has called on Minister Heather Humphreys to engage with Minister for Enterprise Leo Varadkar on remote working legislation.

Deputy Kerrane said that the Government’s Action Plan for Rural Ireland published last year puts an emphasis on remote working and the roll-out of hubs across rural towns and villages.

She added that it could be said much of the Plan is even dependent on the success of remote working.

The Sinn Féin TD said that it was therefore concerning that another Government Minister appears to be bringing forward remote working legislation which is “more focused on the employer” and “thirteen reasons why remote working can be denied”.

“It is essential that Minister Humphreys engages with Minister Varadkar on this legislation given the importance of it for rural communities,” she said.

“The Minister has confirmed this morning that she will do that. We know that the number of vehicles on our roads is back to pre-Covid levels. This suggests that many workers are back commuting to work and back to the office.”

Last year alone, 189 remote working hubs came on stream with around 400 remote working spaces available throughout the State.

“We cannot lose the gains that have been made over the last two years which has in many cases allowed workers to remain in their local community, reducing commuting times as well as benefiting the local economy and work/life balance,” added Deputy Kerrane.