Galway to benefit from 'significant investment' in the development of remote working hubs

New remote working strategy has 'potential to transform the way we work and live' and produce 'exciting benefits for regional economies', says Minister Hildegarde Naughton

Galway is expected to benefit from “significant investment” in the development of remote working hubs later this year as part of the Government’s National Remote Working Strategy.

Legislation will be introduced by the end of September 2021 entitling employees to request remote working arrangements. While there will be no automatic entitlement, employers will be required to explain why such arrangements are impossible. If an employee is unhappy with the explanation, they can take a case to the Workplace Relations Commission for adjudication on the matter.

A total of €5 million has been allocated under Budget 2021 for the development of a national hubs network, while the Western Development Commission is currently working on the development of 100 hubs in the Atlantic Economic Corridor region, which includes Galway.

'The trend could see thousands of families settling or remaining in more remote towns and villages instead of having to relocate to within a commuter belt for work'

The developments have been welcomed by Fine Gael Galway West TD, and Minister of State, Hildegarde Naughton. “The Covid-19 pandemic accelerated exponentially the move towards remote working," she said. "The National Remote Working Strategy is a roadmap for embracing and promoting remote working through legislation and investment. It has the potential to transform the way we work and live, as well as heralding exciting benefits for regional economies.”

Health and environmental benefits

Minister Naughton said remote working would reduce or eliminate commuting times and travel costs for workers, thereby decreasing car journeys and air pollution. It would also give workers the option of living further away from their place of employment.

“The trend could see thousands of families settling or remaining in more remote towns and villages across the country instead of having to relocate to within a commuter belt for work," she said. "This would breathe life back into rural areas that have seen their populations falling for generations."

The strategy also provides for a review of the tax treatment of people who work from home, along with the so-called “right to disconnect”, and a possible acceleration of the National Broadband Plan.

 

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