Tanaiste urges employers to give a salary increase to staff

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The Tanaiste has urged employers to raise staff pay if they can afford it as the cost of living soars.

Leo Varadkar said he recognized that many people are struggling with rising bills, including energy and fuel costs.

He said that while many people are in line for a pay raise this year, employers should consider raising their workers’ wages.

“First of all, I want to acknowledge the fact that the cost of living is going up, that we’re seeing inflation at a level we haven’t seen in a long time.

Tanaiste Leo Varadkar speaking to the media after a Cabinet meeting at Dublin Castle. Picture date: Tuesday January 25, 2022.

(PA cord)

“That is impacting people’s household income.

“A lot of people are struggling with those rising bills, particularly energy bills, gasoline, diesel electricity.

“So what we are doing in several areas is that there are increases in wages, the minimum wage went up 3%.

“Most people in most workplaces, not all, but most people in most workplaces will get a raise this year.

“That will help.

“Where employers can afford wage increases, they should and the government certainly does so in relation to public sector wages.

“We have the welfare tax and pension package coming into force this month: income tax deductions and increases, plus an increased fuel allowance.

“There are also measures to limit rent increases to 2%, freeze childcare and introduce this €100 discount on electricity bills.”

He made the comments while publishing legislation that will allow workers to apply for the right to work from home.

Varadkar said that an employee of six months will have the automatic right to apply for remote work.

The heads of the bill were approved by Cabinet on Tuesday.

Under the terms, the employer must respond to the request within 12 weeks.

If rejected, an employee can appeal the decision through an internal appeal mechanism and then the Worker Relations Commission (WRC).

Employers can reject an application under 13 headings, which will be expanded when the full legislation is published.

Varadkar said any rejection must be for a “good” reason and denied that the conditions for rejecting an application are broad.

“They have to stack up.

“It will not be enough to give one of the reasons, you will have to be able to show that that reason stacks up,” added Varadkar.

“But there are many reasons, that is the truth. There are many reasons why working remotely or from home may not be possible.

“One, it could impose an unfair cost on the employer that would make the business unviable or less viable, for example, it could result in decreased services to the public.


The people who are somehow suggesting that you can have an absolute right to remote work are probably living in a shoebox or something.

leo varadkar

“I don’t think anyone wants that to happen.

“Or it could be the case, for example, that the particular job cannot be done remotely or cannot be done remotely due to data protection and health and safety issues.

“There has to be a list, but it’s not just that an employee can give any old reason.

“It will have to be a specific reason and that reason we will have to accumulate.”

He said his intention is that any ruling by the WRC, whether the employee is successful or not, will be binding.

“It’s just not practical for some jobs to be done from home or remotely,” the Fine Gael frontman added.

“Anyone who thinks they can have some kind of absolute right to remote work is kidding themselves.

“The people who are somehow suggesting that you can have an absolute right to remote work are probably living in a shoebox or something.

“How can you build a house from your back office?”

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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