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Remote Working... What do the parties promise?

'Yr Ystafell Fyw', Elliots Town, Cwm Rhymni. (Image: Gwalia)

In the run up to the Senedd election on 6 May, three of the country's political parties; Labour, Plaid Cymru, and Wales Green Party have unveiled their visions for the future of remote working in Cymru.

The pandemic has ushered in a sea change with respect to work culture, with more people working from home rather than commuting to the office every morning.

This has led to a fall in road congestion, pollution, and private car use.

The Welsh Conservatives and the Welsh Liberal Democrats have yet to release their parties' manifestos.

Let's take a look at what the different parties are promising when it comes to remote working...

Welsh Labour

The Welsh Labour government has set itself a long-term target to see around 30% of the workforce working from home or near home.

Its manifesto promises to "change the way we work, rather than commuting to the office every day we will seek a 30% target for working remotely to achieve a better work-life balance."

Labour's aim is to develop a hybrid workplace model, where staff can work in the office, at home, or in a hub location.

Labour says that it would like to give workers more flexibility to work remotely, believing that this will contribute "to drive regeneration and economic activity in communities."

To achieve this, the party would develop a network of "community-based remote working hubs", offering workers choices "beyond a simple home/office split".

Deputy Minister for Housing and Local Government, Hannah Blythyn said:

"Home working will change how we use our town centres and high streets. As part of our Transforming Towns approach we want to explore new opportunities for these areas, driving footfall by moving away from a purely retail model to one focused on a more diverse range of activity and opportunities. Our aim is to once again make town centres vibrant, relevant and vital to the communities they serve.

Plaid Cymru

Plaid Cymru aims to create a "national network" of serviced co-working centres in every community in the country.

The party says it wants to seize on the new work culture ushered in by the pandemic by rolling out the first wave of "superfast remote working hubs" within a few months.

The hubs would utilise empty buildings such as banks, post offices, and shops in town centres, as well as empty chapels or pubs in smaller communities.

Doing so would help revitalise town centres across the country, the party says.

In addition, Plaid would encourage employers to adopt modern working practices and incentivise remote and distributed working.

The party says that it could make work "more accessible" to women, disabled people, and other groups that have been historically underrepresented in the workplace.

Wales Green Party

The Greens aim to set in motion a "broadband revolution" to allow for "better learning and employment opportunities with remote working."

The party says that this would allow people to move back into communities— something which would revitalise the local economy and lead to "more vibrant" high streets.

The party's manifesto also pledges to subsidise and improve public transport to help people develop careers while still living in their communities.

(More to follow...)



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