Our guidance outlines the key points for consideration and communication as remote working is implemented to mitigate the spread of Covid-19 in line with government advice
The spread of COVID-19, commonly referred to as the coronavirus, is an exceptional circumstance with ongoing ramifications for organisations, individuals and society on every level. As the situation continues to develop and change, the CIPD will provide updated advice, resources and guidance to support employers and people professionals in their response.
Last reviewed: 30 March 2020
We encourage you to identify your best way to support employees in response to the unprecedented measures to address the spread of Covid-19. Our hub provides increased guidance on remote working.
STAY AT HOME - The government is urging everyone to stay in their home wherever possible. This is the best way to minimise the risk of COVID-19 to employees, families and communities. Individuals are asked to go out as little as possible and can go out for food, medical appointments and some exercise within 2K of their home.
Employees are not permitted to travel to and from work until 12 April 2020, unless they are engaged in essential services or essential retail outlets. Certain other businesses can offer emergency call-out or delivery.
If your organisation provides an essential service, you should identify those employees (including sub-contractors) who are essential to the provision of that service and notify them to attend work. Provide all such employees with a letter of authorisation, with both the company and job details, to demonstrate that the organisation and individual are complying with government guidance. Also ensure that you have business continuity plans in place, to cover in case key workers or key facilities are impacted by COVID-19.
At all times social distancing and latest public health guidance should be followed. Remaining measures, including school closures and working from home, are extended to 19 April.
Emergency unemployment support for those who have been laid off due to the Coronavirus was raised to €350 a week. A work subsidy scheme to pay 70% of a worker’s take-home salary - up to maximum of €410 per week – is available where a company in difficulty agrees to continue paying the salary.
Illness Benefit payment of €350 per week is in place for those who have COVID-19 or are taking medically-required self-isolation.
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Remote working is not a replacement for dependent care. Where employees require time off to care for children or other dependents, this should be discussed with their manager, and consideration should be given to alternative leave arrangements which may include altered shift-patterns, working-up time taken, rearranging parental leave, part-time working, taking annual or unpaid leave.
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Resources and guidance to help you
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Need more help? CIPD members can call our Employment Law Helpline on 1800 812 603 to get advice on all aspects of Irish employment law. Members are entitled to 20 calls per year (25 if you’re a Chartered member). The helpline is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
We know that our members and customers are facing challenging times and we are here to help you. Due to a high number of calls we apologise that your wait time may be longer than usual. We appreciate your patience and will connect you to an expert adviser as soon as we can.
The coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak is an exceptional event posing a threat to worker health and safety and a risk to business operations.
As a new virus, it’s unclear how long the threat will last so organisations must plan for weeks and possibly months of disruption.
Employee health, safety and well-being during this time is paramount. Employers need to be proactive in protecting their people and minimising the risk to staff and business continuity. The people profession needs to be at the forefront of the plans and critical decisions being made about the workforce.
They must recognise that many of their people will be anxious about contracting the virus and how they might cope financially if they are to be absent from work. Constant communication with the workforce and early action are key.
By swiftly adopting agile and flexible working practices, and being generous with sick pay for example, organisations will be better positioned to contain the coronavirus and minimise disruption to business.
Even so, the risk cannot be completely eliminated. Governments, employers and employees must all be ready to take additional steps to prevent the further spread of the coronavirus.