Employers welcome release of reopening timeline

Last updated: May 19th, 2022

Taoiseach Micheál Martin announced a reopening schedule for business and society on April 29th. The timeline sets out how different business sectors will reopen in May and June. The announcement has triggered a wave of relief in the business community as employers are now in a position to target specific dates as they prepare for a safe reopening.

Reopening timeline

The key reopening dates are set out below:

  • Tuesday, May 4th: Construction and outdoor workers e.g., window cleaners, can return to work.
  • Monday, May 10th: Intercounty travel allowed while hairdressers, beauticians, museums, libraries, and galleries can reopen. Outdoor and ‘Click and Collect’ retail also permitted. Outdoor training can resume with a maximum of 15 people.
  • Monday, May 17th: Retail fully reopens.
  • Wednesday, June 2nd: Subject to public health situation at the time, B&Bs, guesthouses, and hotels to reopen.
  • Monday, June 7th: Subject to public health situation at the time, outdoor hospitality (including pubs) can reopen. Cinemas, gyms, leisure centres, and swimming pools can also reopen.

As mentioned above, some reopening dates are subject to the public health situation at the time. The timeline does nonetheless give business owners a clear timeframe for reopening and an opportunity to be prepared for a safe return of staff and customers.

Business supports available to employers

During the recovery process, financial supports remain available to help employers get their staff back to work. Guidance and supports for businesses will be provided at each stage to ensure safe reopening.

Businesses currently availing of COVID-19 Restrictions Support Scheme that can reopen as restrictions ease can avail of double restart week payments for two weeks subject to the statutory maximum of €5,000 per week. This payment is provided to support them in meeting the costs of reopening as they exit the scheme.

Need HR advice when reopening your business?

It’s great news that workplaces will soon be back open but it’s also important to reopen safely and in line with Government health advice.

If you’re facing tough HR decisions or staff queries around new workplace protocols, our advice lines are open to handle all your reopening queries.

For advice on any HR issue when reopening your business, speak to an expert now on 01 886 0350 or request a callback here.

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Nora Cashe


Nóra studied Law in Griffith College Dublin and qualified as a Barrister in 2008, practising in the area of Criminal law. She is also member of the Irish Employment Law Association.

Nora has extensive experience representing clients at Employment Tribunal hearings, Conciliation / Mediation meetings before both the Workplace Relations Commission and the Labour Court. 

Nóra is a member of the Irish Employment Law Association and engages with the WRC Adjudication Service as part of their stakeholder engagement forum.

Deiric McCann

Genos International Europe

Deiric McCann leads Genos International Europe – The EU division of a world-leading provider of emotional intelligence solutions. 

With over two decades experience at the highest levels of management, Deiric supports clients to develop the resilience, emotional intelligence, psychological safety and engagements of their employees.

Rhiannon Coyne

Graphite HRM

Rhiannon Coyne is a Senior HR Consultant at Graphite HRM and will be providing an overview of best practice on how to deal with complaints of bullying and harassment in the workplace. 

With a number of recent updates to employment laws, Rhiannon will take a closer look at employment equality and how it is interlinked to Health & Safety and what employers can learn from recent case laws.

David Begg

Workplace Relations Commission

David Begg was appointed Chairperson of the Workplace Relations Commission (WRC) in January 2021.

David is also a professor at Maynooth University Institute of Social Sciences. Mr Begg’s extensive history in the trade union movement included leading the ESB Officers Association and Irish Congress of Trade Unions, stepping away from the latter in 2001 to chair international aid agency Concern.

David Begg was also previously a director of the Central Bank of Ireland between 1995 and 2010.