Chambers Ireland welcomes this morning’s (18 July 2019) consultation on remote working hosted by Ministers Heather Humphreys and Richard Bruton as part of Future Jobs Ireland.
As Ireland’s largest business network with a geographical reach into every major town and city in the country, we know how important it is, both for employers and their employees, to implement effective policies which facilitate flexible working.
Speaking this morning, Chambers Ireland Chief Executive Ian Talbot commented, “Flexible, agile working is fundamental to making the Irish workplace more inclusive. The overwhelming majority of caring work in Ireland falls on the shoulders of women and that greatly limits what women can achieve with their careers. According to 2016 data from the CSO the vast majority of those who are in part time work in Ireland are women.
Our labour force participation rates for women is amongst the lowest in the EU, despite Irish women being amongst the most educated. This is a huge lost opportunity for these women, and for Ireland. Keeping women active in the workforce is the most important outcome for flexible working policies.
Events like today’s are important at highlighting the practical, local changes that can be implemented. We need to have a wider rollout of flexible working hubs throughout the regions, as these will help people reduce their commuting times considerably, facilitating better work life balance and reducing the associated environmental burden.
With Budget 2020, we’re calling on Government to introduce a national strategy on agile and remote working, creating guidelines which support greater uptake.
We want to see the National Training Fund target investment in training for line-managers and employers so that SMEs can effectively implement agile work practices.
Flexible and agile workplaces nationwide will require access to high speed broadband, which is a priority throughout the country.”