Union calls for right to disconnect to "offset the downsides of homeworking"

Issued : 26 May 2020


Union calls for right to disconnect to “offset the downsides of homeworking”  


Financial Services Union survey reveals challenges of working from home 


Financial Services Union (FSU) has renewed calls for legislation on the right to disconnect, following a survey of thousands of banking staff. The FSU Covid-19 survey was conducted between April 7th and May 8th, 2020.


The results reveal challenges for people working from home. The survey of homeworking staff revealed that:  

  • 44% feel pressure to answer calls and emails outside of working hours  
  • 56% have seen an increase in work intensity. 
  • 66% report an increase in work-related stress  


Commenting, FSU General Secretary John O’Connell said: 


“FSU members across banking and finance are working hard to ensure that customers' needs are met during Covid-19.  Many thousands of our members are now working from home, and our survey has revealed that they face some very real challenges in going about their work. Thousands of our members have worked in Bank branches as essential workers, serving communities every day.”


“We will be raising the issues of work-related stress, and increased work intensity, directly with employers, as well as the Irish Banking Culture Board and the Banking and Payments Federation. However, we also want to ensure that Government takes appropriate action to protect staff who are working from home.”  


“According to the Fianna Fail-Fine Gael framework document, the next Government will “mandate public sector employers, colleges and other public bodies to move to 20% home and remote working in 2021 and provide incentives for private sector employers to do likewise”. This commitment should oblige the next Government to implement measures to protect staff working from home. “ 


“The introduction a legislative right to disconnect, whereby workers would not be obliged to engage with calls, emails or work-related message outside of working hours, should be prioritised as a first step. We will shortly be releasing an FSU “Homeworking Protocol for the Finance Sector”, where we will lay out what we believe ought to be done to upgrade home-working from the current emergency situation to a sustainable model by providing appropriate supports and structure to staff.” 






For more information contact Paul Dillon, FSU Growth and Communications Manager on 0876859446  



About the FSU Covid-19 survey 


There were 4270 responses to the survey, which was conducted between April 27th and May 8th, 2020.



About FSU

The Financial Services Union is the leading trade union representing staff in the financial services sector. We have approximately 15,000 members located in the Republic of Ireland, Northern Ireland and Great Britain.