2021 will have fundamental impact on our future working lives

April 15, 2021

Ibec, the group that represents Irish business, has today said that the scale of the employment rights legislation proposed for 2021 is probably the most significant in any single year and will have a fundamental impact on our future working lives.

It comes as the organisation this morning hosts its annual Ibec Employment Law Conference, this year taking place online. The Conference, titled ‘Generation Regulation’, considers the complex legal issues that underpin even ‘lighter touch’ regulation such as the Code of Practice on Right to Disconnect including privacy and time recording.

In her opening comments at the conference, Ibec Director of Employer Relations Maeve McElwee outlined: “It has never been more critical that proposed labour market regulation is future focussed and coherently developed. As we enter Q2 still entrenched in Covid restrictions, it is critical that such legislation is introduced in a staggered manner, sensitive to the financial shock many businesses are experiencing.

“The government agenda to legislate for Gender Pay Gap reporting, Statutory Sick Pay (SSP), Right to Request Remote Working, and increases in statutory family leaves in 2021, to highlight just a few, puts an unreasonable burden on employers, particularly in the absence of a return to office roadmap.

“If we are to truly deliver labour market regulation that promotes fair, decent and competitive workplaces, a strong focus on social dialogue will be necessary to achieve balance for both employers and employees.  Significant legislative such as SSP should be encompassed by the Commission on Taxation and Social Welfare and not be developed in isolation to ensure it is considered in the overall context of our social protection system.”