Call for protection for all employees working from home

Claire McGovern

Reporter:

Claire McGovern

Call for protection for all employees working from home

Labour Party Local Area Rep and General Election candidate, Nessa Cosgrove this week supported a Bill aimed at assisting those working from home.

This addresses two major issues that have arisen since the uptake in homeworking since the advent of the pandemic.

 “At the beginning of 2020 just 9% of workers worked from home, this surged to 30%, or 700,000 individuals at the height of the pandemic. Home and remote working is likely to play a significant part in many of our lives in the future. The Labour Party are calling on the Government to address this issue with the utmost urgency by providing workers with:

- A legal right to switch-off. That is to 'disconnect' from work communications, such as emails, phone calls and texts outside of work hours, or to have additional hours worked counted as time-at-work.


- A suitable home workstation and flat rate payment to cover additional costs, such as electricity and heating currently shouldered by workers.

"Most EU countries now provide modern legal protection for those working remotely and France, Spain, Italy and Belgium also provide a legal right to switch off. The benefits of remote working can be many, but they must be accompanied by legal protections if we are to avoid some unforseen and unpleasant side effects to this growing phenomena.

"Many responsible employers already adequately provide for equipment such as workstation, chair and IT, while others rely on the employee to do this. This Bill would require employers to do so and to pay a flat rate payment towards the costs of working from home, which can be significant.”