Understanding the New Code of Practice for the Rights to Request Remote and Flexible Working

Remote and flexible working
By Shannon Power, 10th April 2024

In the wake of the evolving landscape of work culture, the Workplace Relations Commission (WRC) has recently introduced a new Code of Practice, outlining the rights of both employees and employers regarding flexible and remote working arrangements. This comprehensive guide serves as a beacon for navigating the intricacies of modern work arrangements in an ever-changing professional landscape. Let’s delve into the core principles and implications of this code, examining how it impacts both parties involved.

The Need for Change

The concept of work has undergone a fundamental transformation, especially in the aftermath of Covid-19 which accelerated the adoption of remote work practices. This transition has underscored the necessity for clear guidelines that establish the rights and responsibilities of both employers and employees. The new Code of Practice by the WRC serves this purpose, offering a structured framework to navigate the complexities of flexible and remote working arrangements.

Understanding the Code of Practice

The Code of Practice for Employers and Employees’ Right to Request Flexible Working and Right to Request Remote Working is a milestone document that delineates the rights and obligations of both parties. Drawing insights from the PDF provided by the Workplace Relations Commission, the key aspects include:

  1. Equality and Fairness: The code emphasises the importance of equality and fairness in considering requests for flexible or remote work. Employers are encouraged to adopt a non-discriminatory approach and treat all requests fairly, irrespective of the employee’s background or circumstances.
  2. Clear Procedures: It outlines clear procedures for both employees and employers to follow when initiating or responding to requests for flexible or remote work. This clarity fosters transparency and ensures that the process is fair and impartial.
  3. Mutual Engagement: The code promotes mutual engagement between employers and employees throughout the process of requesting and implementing flexible or remote working arrangements. This collaborative approach fosters open communication and builds trust between both parties.
  4. Balancing Interests: It acknowledges the need to balance the interests of both employers and employees when considering requests for flexible or remote work. Factors such as operational requirements, business needs, and the employee’s individual circumstances are considered to reach a mutually beneficial arrangement.
  5. Appeals Process: In cases where requests are denied or disputed, the code outlines an appeals process through which employees can seek recourse. This ensures that employees have avenues to address grievances and seek resolution in case of disagreements.

Implications for Employers and Employees

For Employers:

  • The code underscores the importance of fostering a supportive work culture that embraces flexibility and accommodates the diverse needs of employees.
  • Employers are encouraged to proactively engage with employees to understand their circumstances and explore feasible options for flexible or remote work arrangements.
  • Adhering to the guidelines outlined in the code can help employers enhance employee satisfaction, productivity, and retention, thereby contributing to overall business success.

For Employees:

  • The code empowers employees to assert their rights and request flexible or remote working arrangements that align with their circumstances and preferences.
  • It provides employees with a structured framework to start and navigate the process of requesting flexible or remote work. This ensures transparency and fairness in decision-making.
  • By leveraging the provisions outlined in the code, employees can achieve a better work-life balance, improve job satisfaction, and enhance well-being.

The new Code of Practice for Requesting Flexible and Remote Working is a significant milestone for shaping the future of work. It fosters a culture of flexibility, transparency, and mutual respect, creating inclusive work environments where everyone can thrive. By adopting the principles outlined in the code, we can achieve a more agile, resilient, and fair workplace for all.

If you have any questions regarding this new code of practice or corporate compliance, our team at Company Bureau are here to help! Give us a call at +353(0)1 6461625 or fill out our online contact form.

Disclaimer This article is for guidance purposes only. It does not constitute legal or professional advice. No liability is accepted by Company Bureau for any action taken or not taken in reliance on the information set out in this article. Professional or legal advice should be obtained before taking or refraining from any action as a result of this article. Any and all information is subject to change.