Working from home
Government legislation is to be introduced by the end of September entitling employees to request to work remotely, as part of the National Remote Working Strategy, when the pandemic ends.
The strategy 'Making Remote Work' will also provide for what is being described as the "right to disconnect", the construction of remote working hubs, a review of tax treatment, and a possible acceleration of the National Broadband Plan.
It sets a target for 20% of public sector workers to work remotely.
While employees will not automatically be entitled to remote working arrangements, the employer will be required to give a reasoned response as to why that cannot happen. However, if the employee is not happy with this justification, he/she will able to take a case to the Workplace Relations Commission.
The Strategy promises a "legally admissible" Code of Practice on the "right to disconnect" from handling phone calls or emails outside the employee's standard working hours.
The Government will promote "blended" working, allowing people more flexibility to choose when and where they work.
It commits to "significant investment" in remote work hubs, ensuring they are located suitably for commuters and close to childcare facilities.
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