Government extends Level 5 restrictions until April 5th

The Irish Government yesterday announced the extension of Level 5 restrictions nationally until April 5th.

Below, we look at how this extension will impact employers.

Key employer takeaways

The main points for employers include:

  • Work from home should continue where possible.
  • Phased reopening of schools to begin on Monday, March 1st.
  • ECCE childcare scheme to resume on Monday, March 8th.
  • The current 5km limit will remain in place.

Income and business supports, such as the Employment Wage Support Scheme (EWSS) and the Pandemic Unemployment Payment (PUP), will also continue until the end of June.

Revised plan

The Government has also published a revised COVID-19 management plan: ‘COVID-19 Resilience and Recovery 2021: The Path Ahead’.

The plan outlines a cautious approach to reopening, beginning with childcare and schools. It then focuses on progressing the vaccination programme to lay the foundations for the full recovery of social life, public services, and the economy.

The next review of the plan will look at the easing of certain restrictions after April 5th, such as:

  • Outdoor activities and meetings beyond one other household.
  • Extending the current 5km limit.
  • Easing of other areas of restriction with a focus on outdoor activities, e.g., sport and construction.

Impact on HR

Some of the pressure working parents face should be eased by the phased reopening of schools and childcare services. Predictable working patterns should return, benefitting both businesses and employees.

While the vaccine rollout progresses, restrictions will continue to impact trade until at least April. March therefore could represent an opportunity to communicate your business’s COVID-19 vaccine policy to your staff and to address any vaccine concerns they might have.

Need our help?

For advice regarding the extended Level 5 restrictions, speak to an expert now on 01 886 0350 or request a callback here.

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Nora Cashe

Peninsula

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

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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.