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Eurofound's EU PolicyWatch collates information on the responses of government and social partners to the COVID-19 crisis, the war in Ukraine, rising inflation, as well as gathering examples of company practices aimed at mitigating the social and economic impacts.

Factsheet for measure IE-2021-29/2025 – measures in Ireland

New policy on 'blended working' in the civil service published

Country Ireland , applies nationwide
Time period Open ended, started on 13 July 2021
Context COVID-19
Type Other initiatives or policies
Category Protection of workers, adaptation of workplace
– Teleworking arrangements, remote working
Author Roisin Farelly (IRN Publishing) and Eurofound
Measure added 07 October 2021 (updated 15 November 2021)

Background information

In July 2021, a policy statement on blended working in the Civil Service was launched.

This follows an extended period during the Covid-19 pandemic when the civil service, in common with many other sectors, has, in the main, been working in a fully remote environment.

According to the Government, subject to changes to public health advice, some degree of remote working will continue to be a feature for the Civil Service for the remainder of 2021.

The policy statement will assist organisations in the civil service in the development of tailored policies that are appropriate to them and their employees. Long-term blended working policies and implementation plans will be rolled out from September 2021 to March 2022.

Content of measure

Key objectives of the policy include:

  • To ensure the Civil Service will continue to deliver high quality services to Government, the public and business.
  • To deliver on the Programme for Government commitment to move to 20% remote/home working.
  • To ensure the Civil Service remains an employer of choice by widening talent pools with potential access to blended working options.
  • To support the new Public Sector Decarbonisation Strategy, which has set a public sector decarbonisation target of at least 50% by 2030.

Common principles on blended working include:

  • Ensuring service delivery
  • Transparency and fairness
  • Employees will have the right to request the option of remote working
  • Employers will have the right to refuse blended working arrangements
  • Availability and patterns of blended working will be based on business needs
  • Flexibility will be central
  • Shared workspace arrangements will be part of the blended working environment

Use of measure

Not yet available.

Target groups

Workers Businesses Citizens
Particular professions
Sector specific set of companies
Does not apply to citizens

Actors and funding

Actors Funding
National government
Trade unions
No special funding required

Social partners

Social partners' role in designing the measure and form of involvement:

Trade unions Employers' organisations
Role Informed No involvement
Form Not applicable Not applicable

Social partners' role in the implementation, monitoring and assessment phase:

  • Only trade unions
  • Main level of involvement: Sectoral or branch level


The Civil Service Management Board produced the Policy Statement. Management will then engage with trade unions on implementing the blended working policy across different sections of the civil service.

Views and reactions

Fórsa, Ireland’s largest public service union welcomed the publication of the ‘Blended Working Policy Statement’. Fórsa general secretary Kevin Callinan said his union was ready to engage immediately with civil service management to reach agreement on the details. But he warned that the initiative should be capable of rapid roll-out across the entire public service, rather than being confined to Government departments and agencies.

The SIPTU union also welcomed the publication of the ‘Blended Working Policy Statement’ but added that ‘blended working’ arrangements should be made available, where possible, to workers throughout the public service and state sector.

Sectors and occupations

    • Economic area Sector (NACE level 2)
      O - Public Administration And Defence; Compulsory Social Security O84 Public administration and defence; compulsory social security
    • Occupation (ISCO level 2)
      Business and administration associate professionals
      Other clerical support workers
      Chief executives, senior officials and legislators
      Administrative and commercial managers
      Business and administration professionals


  • 13 July 2021: Minister McGrath publishes Policy Statement on blended working in the Civil Service (
  • 13 July 2021: Blended Working in the Civil Service (
  • 13 July 2021: Fórsa wants immediate dialogue on public service remote working (
  • 14 July 2021: SIPTU calls for ‘blended working’ options for all public sector workers (


Eurofound (2021), New policy on 'blended working' in the civil service published, measure IE-2021-29/2025 (measures in Ireland), EU PolicyWatch, Dublin,


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Disclaimer: This information has not been subject to the full Eurofound evaluation, editorial and publication process.