Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe said working from home or remote working had been “an essential part” of the country’s response to the coronavirus pandemic.
Mr Donohoe said an inter-departmental group had been set up to work on the Government’s commitment to develop a strategy for remote working and remote service delivery.
The Minister outlined the supports that were in place for remote working. These include employees not facing a benefit-in-kind tax charge on up to €3.20 paid a day by employers towards the expenses of working from home.
According to Leo Varadkar..the government wants remote working and home working to become part of the new normal. If done right, the benefits will be huge; reduced business costs, better work-life balance especially for parents, less traffic, fewer greenhouse gas emissions and time saved on the commute. There are also real benefits for rural Ireland with many more people able to work for big companies and public bodies from home or from remote working hubs. This will mean an increased local spend. And, of course, it’s not an either or. For some a mix of working remotely and from their base will become the new way of doing things.
Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe highlighted working from home, or remote working, in his Budget 2021 speech.The minister said remote working has been an essential part of the response to the pandemic and he noted that the Programme for Government includes a commitment to develop a strategy for remote working and remote service delivery.An Inter-Departmental Group has already been set up to work on this but he said in advance of their results, he highlighted what is in place on remote working.Mr Donohoe reiterated that in cases where the employer makes payments towards the expenses of working from home, up to €3.20 may be paid to employees without a Benefit-In-Kind arising.Also where the employer does not make a contribution, the worker may claim a tax deduction for utility expenses such as heat and light.In addition, the Revenue Commissioners has now confirmed that this may include the cost of broadband. The minister said that claims may also be made for any other vouched expenses incurred "wholly, exclusively and necessarily" in the performance of the duties of their employment.