Fianna Fáil Local Election Candidate in the Rathoath Electoral Area, Deirdre Geraghty-Smith says she believes that the existing employment laws need to be reviewed in order to cater for greater flexible working arrangements to help families and commuters with work-life balance.

Ms. Geraghty Smith, who is also a candidate for Fianna Fáil in Meath East explained, “From being out and about on the doorsteps I have heard countless stories of the daily hardship of commuting long distances to work while also having to juggle family responsibilities. Having been a commuter myself for over 15 years, I know what it’s like to be on a bus while it’s still dark in the morning and come home in darkness also.

“In other jurisdictions, a legislative “right to request” exists which puts an obligation on employers to give due consideration to requests for flexible working arrangements from employees and to accommodate this where possible.

“I believe this right needs to be seriously examined in an Irish context and will campaign for this objective to be achieved. Working alongside the Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Business and Enterprise and the Spokesperson on Employment Affairs and Social Protection, I believe we can bring about change which will mean a lot to those commuting long distances to work.

“I understand there may be reservations, but any such legislative change would have safeguards built into the final details.

“Hard working parents need to be listened to. The daily commuter grind is causing untold mental anguish for families to balance responsibilities in the workplace and home. Parents are tormented by the fact they have left their house before their children are awake and that they are home after they have gone to bed, it also raises serious concerns in respect to childcare.

“I believe that my flexible working arrangements proposal would be a good step towards more progressive work practices in Ireland and help commuters and working families”, she concluded.