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Moves to opt-out of ‘after-work’ e-mails during rest periods

Posted on August 21, 2019 by Gerald Flynn

The Government is to consider a new employment law to provide a right to switch-off e-mails when away from work or on holidays.

The move comes two years after France introduced similar rules to ensure workers have the right to switch off and no longer feel the obligation to check work-related emails outside office hours.

Minister for Business Heather Humphreys said that with the “increasing digitalisation of the workforce” it was important from a work-life balance perspective that there would be “clearly defined guidelines regarding workers’ rights to switch off after office hours”.

In 2017, the French government introduced an employment law which obliges organisations to guarantee their employees a right to disconnect from technology.

Last year business executive Gráinne O’Hara, from meat producer Kepak, was awarded €7,500 by the Labour Court over being required to deal with out-of-hours work emails, including some after midnight, which led to her working more than 48 hours a week. She was unable to have “a

a rest period of not less than 11 consecutive hours in each period of 24 hours during which he or she works for his or her employer”.

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More apprenticeships needed to meet youth jobs needs

Posted on August 8, 2019 by webmaster

DESPITE the tight labour market, 6,000 under-25s remain long-term unemployed according to the National Youth Council which is calling for more apprentiship places, especially for younger women. Apprenticeship courses have been expanded in recent years to include careers in auctioneering, insurance and accounting in addition to more traditional trades.

At present, there are 16,000 young people on apprenticeship programmes. We need increased investment in Budget 2020 to support more young jobseekers into an apprenticeship and a range of other employment and training measures to reduce long-term youth unemployment. That was the message from James Doorley, National Youth Council of Ireland (NYCI) deputy director at the launch of its pre-Budget submission.

The NYCI, which represents youth organisations working with over 380,000 young people nationwide, is calling for an overall investment of €14.9million in education, training and apprenticeships to halve long-term youth unemployment by the end of 2020. Only 2% – about 350 – of the 16,000 young people in apprenticeship schemes are women.

Mr Doorley said: “Census 2016 indicates that our population aged 10-24 years will increase to over one million by 2025, so we need to invest in policies, services and supports to meet the needs of young people today, while preparing for demographic pressures in the coming years.”

90% of smaller Irish firms call Britain’s ‘Brexit bluff’

Posted on August 5, 2019 by Gerald Flynn

ONLY one-in-10 businesses in Ireland are preparing for a no-deal Brexit despite the fact that many of them see it as serious threat, the cross-border body, IntertradeIreland, warned

IntertradeIreland’s all-island business monitor for the three months to the end of June shows that 40% of companies reported growth for the period but few expect further expansion over the coming 2019-20 year.

The all-Ireland trade body finds that 45% of businesses blame the UK’s scheduled departure from the EU at the end of October for this uncertainty, which rises to almost 60% among manufacturers.

However, only 11% of companies that contributed to the Business Monitor survey said that they have made any preparations for the UK crashing out of the trade bloc without a deal, scheduled for October 31st

More than four-fifths of cross-border traders, who would be most exposed should the UK leave with no deal, have not prepared for that outcome, Intertrade Ireland says.