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It's about time - Managing working time in the digital age


It's about time | Managing working time in the digital age

As the government develops its Future Jobs Ireland initiative, it is clear that management of working time is a key component of the future of work. Recent reports of remote working initiatives and the “right to disconnect” from email and other electronic devices shows that examining working time goes to the very core of the employment relationship – it can highlight productivity, bring any performance issues to the fore and may raise questions in relation to employee health and wellbeing.

For employers, the challenges of managing working time are not new. Digitalisation has amplified some of the difficulties presented by the manner in which working time has been regulated, but it is by no means the only issue.

Since working time legislation was last revised more than 20 years ago, a range of scenarios have required further examination – travel time as working time, the need in certain sectors for continuous service or production and the search for the ever elusive certainty of working hours where the nature of the work itself is uncertain. These issues have spawned a burgeoning body of case law and various amendments to the original 1997 Act.


First principles- the Principal Act
  • Organisation of Working Time Act 1997
  • The limitations of exemptions
  • What does full compliance mean?

The thorny questions
  • Travel time as working time
  • On call arrangements
  • The right to disconnect

Preparing for a Workplace Relations Inspection
  • Powers of inspection
  • Record keeping
  • Requirements under relevant legislation

Banded hours and predicting working time
  • Employment (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2018
  • Issuing predictions of working hours where the work is uncertain
  • Managing competing requests for hours

Fact based scenario
  • Practical exercise based on real life cases
  • Hard cases make bad law
  • Is the solution a “once size fits all” approach?

Market response to digitalisation – group session
  • Increased demand for remote working from employees – and employers?
  • Considerations other than working time – health and safety, GDPR
  • Adopting a holistic approach

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