The bill regarding the right to work from home has been amended and is now "fit for purpose", according to ICTU.

Social Policy Officer with ICTU Laura Bambrick said the bill was "roundly criticised" as it was "fundamentally flawed" in giving employers unfettered ability to turn down a request and made no reference to employees in the legislation.

Speaking on RTÉ's Today with Claire Byrne, she said the two main issues that ICTU had concerns with were that there were 13 grounds where employers could refuse a request for working from home and that the bill did not allow a worker to take a case to the Workplace Relations Commission to appeal a decision.

The draft bill has been scrapped, according to Ms Bambrick, and the new workers' rights around requesting remote working is to be included in an amendment in a piece of legislation that is already at an advanced stage of making its way through the Oireachtas – the Workplace Balance Bill.

"So, the 13 grounds for refusal are gone, and when an employer is considering a request, they absolutely take their own needs into account," Ms Bambrick said.

"But now, they also have to take the worker's needs and a new code of practice, which will be drawn up by the Workplace Relations Commission."

She said that if employers do not do that when they are considering the request, then the worker will now have a right, which they previously did not, to go to the WRC and if the WRC finds in their favour there will be redress.

"There will be a penalty of up to four weeks' pay. There's nothing unusual in that in employment legislation," she said.

"In fact, in most legislation there is a penalty for not following the law. And really what it's meant is not to be a windfall day for workers, it's supposed to be a deterrent to ensure that employers are having due regard for the requirements under this new law."

Ms Bambrick said the legislation is just bringing Ireland into line with several other European countries.

"This isn't something that's being dreamed up by the Department of Employment or being demanded by unions. It’s just not taking into account what's happening in the real world," she added.

"We're just coming into line with how the future of work works in the rest of Europe. So, this idea that we're moving too fast and too soon, it just doesn't stand up to scrutiny."