Legislate to make remote/home working an employee right

The pandemic has demonstrated that many traditional office based jobs can be done easily and often more efficiently through remote/home working. Given this experience several countries, such as Germany, are now moving to enshrine in law the right to work from home where possible. Scotland should do likewise.

Why the contribution is important

In the short term, this idea would address the ongoing problem of irresponsible employers who - despite the clear Government guidance on the matter - are pressuring staff to go back to working in office environments even though they can perform their work remotely. The First Minister has previously indicated that legislating on this matter would be considered if compliance among employers was lacking, which in too many cases it still seems to be. In the medium-long term, post-Covid landscape encouraging greater levels of remote/home working has numerous benefits both to employer and employee and also to wider society. Studies have shown it frequently leads to increased efficiency and enhanced feelings of commitment and loyalty among a workforce towards their employer. In a wider societal sense, it would help hugely to address challenges such as reducing traffic congestion and meeting climate change related emissions targets since it would reduce private car commuting. Removing the need for workers to reside close to a particular office location could also help to encourage repopulation of rural areas which frequently struggle to attract working age people. It would be a tremendously regressive step if, after the experiences of this year, we just reverted to outdated and archaic models of traditional office working. We should embrace the new working models - enabled by the modern communications platforms we have all now become so familiar with - which have been shown to function so well during the past few months.

by Alasdair_Deasbad on October 11, 2020 at 07:21PM

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Comments

  • Posted by Coronavirus2020 October 11, 2020 at 20:40

    Sadly, I think the Government will need to legislate on this issue to protect workers from unscrupulous employers. Given that so many jobs can easily be done from home, now is an exciting opportunity to make this the norm and allow people greater flexibility in their lives. It could definitely help repopulate remote mainland/island communities and slow down the devastating economic clearances that have been taking place for generations.
  • Posted by Bolshygirl October 11, 2020 at 21:25

    I agree with Coronavirus2020.
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