Smyth welcomes remote working actions as part of Our Rural Future plan  

Published on: 01 April 2021

Fianna Fáil TD for Cavan, Monaghan and North Meath, Niamh Smyth, has welcomed the new remote working actions announced as part of the ‘Our Rural Future’ development plan.  

Deputy Smyth commented, “The pandemic has made us all take stock and re-evaluate what is most important to us. For decades we have seen global trends where young people leave their local communities to live and work in larger cities. As we emerge from COVID-19 we will never have a better opportunity to reverse that long-standing trend.’’ 

Some of the key actions around remote working which will be delivered through Our Rural Future include:  

  • Establish a network of over 400 remote working hubs nationwide, to enable more people to live and work in rural communities.  
  • Pilot co-working and hot desking hubs for public servants in regional towns.  
  • Move to 20% remote working in the public sector in 2021, with further annual increase over the next 5 years.  
  • IDA, Enterprise Ireland and Údarás na Gaeltachta to promote and enable the uptake of remote working across their client base.  
  • Fund the repurposing of vacant buildings in town centres into remote working hubs.  
  • Review the tax arrangements for remote working for both employers and employees as part of Budget 2022. 
  • Introduce legislation in 2021 to provide employees with the right to request remote work. 
  • Provide funding to Local Authorities to run targeted campaigns to attract remote workers to their area.  
  • Examine the introduction of specific incentives to attract remote workers and mobile talent to live in rural towns. 

“As we recover from the impact of Covid-19, we have a unique opportunity to reimagine rural Ireland and harness the talent, skills and creativity running through our rural communities. It is the ambition of this Government to have more people working in all parts of Ireland, with access to quality employment and good careers,’’ concluded Deputy Smyth.