Local lockdowns: How can your business adapt?

Earlier this month, the Government put Ireland’s first local lockdowns in place. Counties Kildare, Laois, and Offaly initially faced two weeks of restrictions beginning midnight August 8th.

But, with case figures still rising, it’s possible that local lockdowns could be introduced in other counties over the coming months.

It could be the case that individual businesses are not asked to close. While that is the ideal scenario, you still need to prepare your business for any possibility. After all, you may need to take precautionary measures even if allowed to remain open.

What impact does a local lockdown have?

The local lockdown measures in Kildare, Laois, and Offaly required the following to close:

  • Cafés
  • Restaurants
  • Pubs
  • Cinemas
  • Theatres
  • Museums
  • Gyms

Travel was also restricted to essential journeys. However, people working outside an affected county were still allowed to travel if they were unable to work from home.

There are two main areas to consider if your business is faced with local restrictions. The first of these is how your business can help reduce a rising number of coronavirus cases. Secondly, how your business will respond if it’s on the list required to close.


If your business must close to help reduce the number of COVID-19 cases in your county, consider the following:

  • Homeworking: Where possible, consider letting staff work from home. While allowing it is your choice, it may be the best way to deal with a short-term lockdown.
  • Layoff: If homeworking isn’t a realistic option for your business, and provided the employment contract allows it, consider a period of layoff for employees.
  • Annual leave: Using accrued annual leave, or other types of unpaid leave like parental leave, is also an option worth exploring.

Need our help?

If you would like further complimentary advice on local lockdowns from an expert, our advisors are ready to take your call. Call us 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.

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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.