Revised guidance to help employers and employees return to work safely

The Transitional Protocol: Good Practice Guidance for Continuing to Prevent the Spread of COVID-19, has been released by the Department of Enterprise. It sets out best practices for keeping the workplace safe to assist employers and their employees in returning to work. This comes following consultation among key stakeholders on both sides of employment.

On January 21st, the Government announced the relaxation of many public health measures. This included the requirement on public health grounds to work from home unless necessary to attend the workplace in person. The phased return to the workplace is now underway and is assisted by the latest guidance.

The guidance sets out that COVID-19 infection prevention and control (IPC) measures should remain part of any workplace risk assessment. Therefore, the control measures set out in the guidance should remain a focus for employers, business managers, and employees, with many elements considered good practice. The Department document further sets out that it’s “critically important that everyone continues to play their part in limiting transmission.”

Key parts of the guidance require particular attention from employers in the following areas:

  • Keep a COVID-19 Response Plan in place.
  • Maintain policies and procedures for prompt identification and isolation of employees who may have symptoms of COVID-19.
  • Maintain COVID-19 Infection Prevention and Control (IPC) measures.
  • Antigen Diagnostic Tests (ADTs) and Rapid Antigen Diagnostic Tests (RADTs).
  • Identifying the Worker Role – Workplace and Community Settings.

Other specific points addressed in the guidance document include:

  • Updating of COVID-19 Response Plan to take account of the updated public health advice. These plans should be updated in consultation with employees and communicated once finalised.
  • Facilitate the ongoing appointment and engagement of the Lead Worker Representative(s), as appropriate.
  • Review and update Occupational Health and Safety (OSH) risk assessments and safety statements as employees return to the workplace.
  • Maintain measures to deal with a suspected case of COVID-19 in the workplace.
  • Maintain any specific measures or responses for dealing with an outbreak of COVID-19 (refer to HPSC general guide on management of COVID-19 outbreaks in the workplace).

Need help updating policies to align with the Transitional Protocol?

For guidance on ensuring your policies and documentation align with measures set out in the Transitional Protocol, speak to an expert consultant now on 01 886 0350 or request a callback here.

Book a call with a consultant

Complete the form below and a consultant will call you as soon as possible.

Book a call with a consultant

Complete the form below and a consultant will call you as soon as possible.

Latest Resources

Probationary periods and employment contracts affected by new rules

As January is a quiet time for many business owners, it can be a good time to do some HR jobs that have been put […]

Handling employee resignation and notice periods in Ireland

Employee resigning with documents and belongings
How to handle employee resignation and notice periods in Ireland From time to time, an employee resigns to pursue a career outside of your organisation. […]

Employer’s guide to the Organisation of Working Time Act

Employer’s guide to the Organisation of Working Time Act The Organisation of Working Time Act 1997. What does this legislation set out to do and […]

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

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.