All employees should strive for work-life balance, but it’s impossible to achieve without legislation imposing it on employers. People who have been victims of domestic abuse, who have care responsibilities and families value it the most. It seems their wishes have been granted by the Irish Government on Monday, July 3, 2023. Employment Law Solicitors in Cork are already inundated by questions. While some are enquiring about employee rights shortly, others are curious about the claims and litigations on violation of employee rights. If you, like the others, wish to learn about this newly introduced Act, keep reading.
What is the Work-Life Balance and Miscellaneous Provisions Act All About?
Signed into law on the momentous date of April 4, 2023, the Act brings forth new legislation that entrusts rights to workers so they can strike a balance between their family life and care duties with work life. Under it, parents of children or carers of ailing relatives can now avail of leaves or flexible working. Victims of domestic violence can also seek paid leaves to attend counselling sessions and other support. Along with these rights, employees now have the right to request remote working. Stay tuned for a Code of Practice document to be published by the Workplace Relations Commission.
What is the Purpose Behind the Provision Act?
Solicitors in Cork City have dealt with many work-life balance cases where employees have vented their disapproval regarding long working hours and a lack of flexibility in the workplace. It seems things will now take a new turn. Employees will experience less stress and enjoy better mental health. Employers will get clarity about remote working, and the concept will no longer seem new. Overall, the Act aims to bring about greater inclusion and diversity in the workplace.
What’s Covered in the Act?
Speaking of the Act coverage, you must have already had a faint bit of an idea. However, for better clarity, we have enlisted them:
Flexible working hours for caregivers and parents
The right to remote working
The right to seek maternity leaves for transgender males
Unpaid leaves of up to 5 days for parents and caregivers when the reason is a serious medical condition
Paid leaves of up to 5 days for domestic violence victims
Breastfeeding breaks to get extended to the first 2 years
The Work-Life Balance and Miscellaneous Provisions Act, as deciphered, is all about the rights enclosed above.
When Are the New Rules Rolling Out?
Certain elements of the Act are already operative. For instance, the following came into force on July 3, 2023:
Maternity leave access
Medical care leave
The latter entitlements are likely to roll out sometime later in 2023:
Domestic violence leave
Remote working right
Flexible working right for parents and carers
So, what do you think are their implications on employees? The upcoming section elaborates.
What’s the Next Course of Action for Employers?
Employers must take appropriate action to prepare themselves for the times when certain parts of the legislation will come into effect. It’s advised to wait for announcements from the Government regarding entitlements to be put into action. Meanwhile, they should start by reviewing employee handbooks to check if their policies are in sync with the new legislation. Aspects like remote working and maternity leave policies require a prompt update, whereas leave policies for domestic violence victims need to be added.
Employment Law Solicitors in Cork now have a greater role to play in ensuring that workplaces are governed by the new legislation. Seek legal support from firms like Breen Walsh Solicitors if you feel any part of the policies are being violated.
The author has been working for many clients ever since she established her career in professional content writing. Of course, she enjoyed collaborating with all of them, but law-related topics are one of her favourites. She has always been interested in the legal sector, and this partnership has strengthened her knowledge in the field.