HR Policy Global

BEERG Newsletter - Future Work: A roundup of some recent developments

According to the HR Director magazine people feel overwhelmed and under qualified to use data to make decisions and this is hurting their quality of life and business performance, according to a new study*. The study of more than 14,000 employees and business leaders across 17 countries found that people are struggling to make decisions in their personal and professional lives at a time when they are being forced to make more decisions than ever before.

People in the UK (87%) are the most overwhelmed in Europe by the data deluge. The amount of information available is damaging trust, making decisions more complicated, and negatively impacting our quality of life at home and at work. UK business leaders are suffering the most in Europe (95%) from decision distress due to the overwhelming amount of data which prevents them from working effectively. Therefore, it may not be a surprise that UK leaders are the most confident (76%) in the continent when it comes to delegating decision-making tasks to robots.

The UK's Labour Party is expected to introduce “right to switch off” rules if elected, restricting employers from contacting their staff by phone, WhatsApp or email outside working hours. Angela Rayner, the deputy party leader who is also the party’s shadow secretary of state for the future of work, told the Financial Times that 

constant emails and calls outside of work should not be the norm and is harming work-life balance for many…  We will look at how to implement this in practice, learning from countries where it has been introduced successfully.” 

Labour would also give Britons a legal right to work from home. A policy of making flexible working the default option is part of an 86-page compilation of policies which is likely to form the basis of Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer's general election manifesto. The policy platform, leaked to LabourList, will be considered as part of the party's national policy forum in July. 

The Irish Workplace Relations Commission is inviting submissions to inform the development of a key Code of Practice on the new right to request remote working that was recently enacted.

The Code of Practice for the ‘right to request’ remote working will play a central role in how the new law will be used by those seeking remote work. For example, if an employer does not adequately consider the Code in its response to a remote working request, they will have fallen short of requirements and may be compelled to accept the request by a WRC adjudicator or Labour Court.

The Commission now is undertaking a public consultation before it drafts a Code of Practice on the ‘Right to Request’ Remote Working. The Code is expected to set out practical guidance for employers and employees as to the steps that may be taken for complying with the requirements of the Act in relation to applications for flexible or remote working.

The Commission is accepting submissions on the code up to 5pm on 9 June 2023. Submissions marked ‘‘Right to Request Remote Work’’ should be sent to [email protected] , or by post to; Workplace Relations Commission, Lansdowne House, Lansdowne Road, Dublin 4, D04A3A8.

Download BEERG Newsletter Issue #18 2023 as a PDF

Published on: May 18, 2023

Authors: Tom Hayes

Topics: Evolving Workplace, The UK and European Union

Tom Hayes

Director of European Union and Global Labor Affairs, HR Policy Association

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