Remote Working: Irish employers slow to change rules
A total of three out of 10 employers do not have a flexible working policy in place and almost as many 27 per cent do not have a remote working policy, according to a recent survey of HR professionals from both the public and private sectors.
The survey was carried out by business law firm Mason Hayes & Curran at a recent Employment Law webinar, which attracted more than 500 attendees. The event discussed the rapidly changing employment law landscape in Ireland, with several significant pieces of new legislation governing working conditions, sick leave, whistleblowing, work life balance, gender pay gap reporting and more.
Melanie Crowley, Partner and head of the employment and benefits team at Mason Hayes & Curran, said: “Remote and flexible working have become commonplace and will be legislated for under the Work Life Balance Act. While this has yet to commence, we would advise employers to prepare now for when it comes into force.”
More than a fifth of employers have had to deal with a protected disclosure, but 17 per cent do not have a whistleblowing policy and 23 per cent do not have the required internal channels in place for workers to report wrongdoing.
The survey found that less than half of employers have updated their sick pay policy in line with the new statutory sick pay legislation brought in this January. Previously, employees did not have a legal right to be paid while on sick leave, but now there is legislation which mandates for payment of sick pay in certain circumstances.
The survey also found that 47 per cent of employers are not required by their organisation to publish a gender pay gap report. Only 33 per cent of employers have started preparing its report for 2023.
The event reviewed the new EU rules on transparent and predictable working conditions, which came into force in December last year. When asked, less than half of employers said they have updated their template employment contracts or reviewed their probationary periods in line with the new legislation.
Lucy O’Neill, senior associate at Mason Hayes & Curran said: “For many employers, the new regulations on transparent and predictable working conditions flew largely under the radar.
“However, the legislation introduced some significant new obligations for employers which include limits on the length of probationary periods, which can be no longer than six months for employees in the private sector and a year for employees in the private sector.”
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