Developments in technology and its availability have made it possible for many desk jobs to be performed outside of an employer’s premises, for part or all of the working week.
The COVID 19 pandemic has required tens of thousands of businesses and employers to act over a matter of days to help slow the spread of the virus by moving their staff to work remotely from home.
For the vast majority of these workers and their employers this was their first experience of working from home, and many have expressed an interest to continue this type of working arrangement on a permanent basis.
Working from home or remotely from another location close to home, such as a digital hub or co-working space, has many advantages for workers. It can, for instance, improve your work-life balance, reduce your commuting time and carbon footprint, and save you money. However, in the absence of a collectively agreed company policy on homeworking, workers can also face challenges, such as working longer hours, feeling lonely and stressed, and slower progress up the career ladder.
The trade union movement is fully committed to ensuring workers’ hard-won rights are preserved when working from home, that protections are fit for purpose and that the post Covid-19 world of homeworking does not lead to greater work precarity and casualisation.
This worker’s guide to your employment rights when your home is your workplace has been developed by the Northern Ireland Committee of the Irish Congress of Trade Unions. We hope this guides assists our trade unions and their members. We also hope this guide can be used as a resource when negotiating bespoke agreements/ arrangements suitable for their sectors and industries.