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26 Sept 2022

People using remote working hubs could be in line for subsidy

People using remote working hubs could be in line for subsidy

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A subsidy is due for those using remote working hubs, the Minister for Social Protection and Rural Development has confirmed.

Minister Heather Humphreys said her Department had received a Budget allocation to "incentivise" the uptake of hub spaces to enable rural remote working.

At present, there are 200 hubs or remote working facilities nationally, but she said that she predicts the target of 400 by 2025 will be met early.

The Minister's announcement follows after she was quizzed about possible supports for those using the hubs, which on average charge €10-€15 for a work station per shift.

"It’s not going to be a huge amount, but it will be a help," she added following the launch of a new app for booking a hub place.

According to the Irish Independent, a "well-placed source" elaborated on further details regarding working from home in these hubs: "One of the options is adopting the ‘air mile’ approach, where if people clock up weeks or months in a hub they could get a credit on their bill.

"For example, if a person or employer sign up for long term packages, say six months or yearly packages, we might help meet the costs for an initial period."

They added that Minister Humphreys hopes to announce the details in the coming months.

Not everyone is as enthusiastic about the prospect of these hubs, however: as reported by RTÉ News, John Barry, who is a member of Irish SME's National Council, has said that some businesses will not be able to afford to pay the higher end of between €20-€30 per day.

He said that he believes that smaller employers "will not be keen to take on that cost."

Ireland's first national network of remote working hubs, consisting of a total of 66 facilities, was initially launched in May of last year.

Regardless of the varying opinions surrounding these hubs, one prediction seems clear: that they are on the way to becoming a staple of a post-COVID world.

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