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.

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Last reviewed: 31 May 2021

As the government moves ahead with steps to reopen the economy and society, employers need to continue to reinforce and implement all public health guidelines. The revised Work Safely Protocol provides guidance on keeping the workforce protected, and implementation checklists are available here.

As events, sports and socialising increase incrementally, there is no change to the official advice to continue to work from home if at all possible. With increases in movement, there remains a high risk of new outbreaks occurring if large numbers of people return to the workplace. It is unlikely that there will be a recommended phased return to offices until September when a critical mass of people will be fully vaccinated.

The COVID-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment, Enhanced Illness Benefit for COVID-19, Enhanced Wage Subsidy Scheme and other COVID-19 business supports are available to employers and employees. Plans are being announced to stimulate economic activity and to phase out financial supports such as the Pandemic Unemployment Payment (PUP) and Employment Wage Subsidy Scheme (EWSS).

Subject to the prevailing public health situation from 19 July, Ireland will operate the EU Digital COVID Certificate (DCC) for travel originating within the EU/EEA. A DCC will show if a passenger is vaccinated against COVID-19, has recovered from COVID-19 or has a negative test result. Passengers arriving into Ireland with a DCC will not have to undergo quarantine. However, passengers with a DCC based on a non-PCR test (for example, antigen), or those arriving without a DCC, will require proof of a negative RT-PCR test taken no more than 72 hours before arrival.

Wellbeing and mental health remain an ongoing concern for managers and employees and our HR Practices in Ireland 2021 survey identified anxiety about return to the workplace. Our wellbeing hub provides resources designed to support you, your managers and organisations on health and mental health. 


HR practices in Ireland 2021

The CIPD HR practices in Ireland 2021 survey confirms a significant step change for many Irish workplaces, and health and wellbeing taking a central role in supporting employees

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Highlights from this page

Hybrid working

View our resources to explore the key issues that employers need to consider in managing hybrid working

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Resources and guidance to help you

Click on the icons below to see a list of relevant resources.

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.

CIPD position

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.