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Coronavirus: 'Home workers need rights', say Plaid Cymru and Labour

By Dafydd Morgan
BBC News

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image captionWorkers should have greater flexibility to choose whether to work from home or the office, say Plaid Cymru and Labour

Home working during the coronavirus pandemic has led to calls for changes in the law to give workers more rights.

Both Plaid Cymru and Labour want to see legal changes that would give workers more flexibility to choose to work from home or the office.

But CBI's Wales director Ian Price said employers should take a "case-by-case approach" to home working.

A UK government said it was "exploring ways to further support employers and workers".

A recent report by Cardiff University shows how out working patterns have changed during lockdown.

Before the pandemic, an estimated 14.4% of workers in Wales could perform their jobs from home on a regular basis.

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Following the Covid-19 lockdown, the research suggests 39.9% of Welsh workers could plausibly perform their jobs at home.

As more employees consider working from home longer-term, there are calls to strengthen the legislation to give them better protection.

"With Covid more people have been working from home, and we need to look at the protections in place, and what rights they have," said Plaid Cymru's MP for Arfon, Hywel Williams.

"As things change with Covid, you realise what the opportunities are also. Working from home suits some people, but we have to protect their rights."

In a statement the Labour Party: "There are benefits to working from home, as outlined in the report. The pandemic is changing our working patterns, so it is right that there should be legislative changes to provide workers greater flexibility, rights and protections to provide for home working."

image captionJack Davies has been working from home since lockdown

Jack Davies, from Crymych in Pembrokeshire, would usually commute to the City in London where he works as a lawyer, but has been working from home since the lockdown.

"Since the lockdown I've saved a lot - a lot of money and time - that's great," he said.

"But I'm at a point in my career where I only have some experience - so it's essential that I get into the office to learn from the partners. Missing out on that has been difficult at times.

"After the pandemic I'd like to see employers being more flexible."

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  • Coronavirus: Work from home law in Wales scrapped

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