With the vast majority of Covid-19 related restrictions due to be lifted by 22 October 2021, the Government has recommended a “phased and staggered” re-entry to the workplace. Many employers are taking a hard look at the impact that the pandemic and the economy has had on their business. Cost saving measures are being implemented, including a reduction in the workforce, where appropriate. In this article we take an updated look at redundancy in Ireland.
We will look at recent decisions of the Workplace Relations Commission and the Labour Court for tips on how to avoid expensive errors when implementing redundancy in the workplace.
The Data Protection Commission (DPC) has issued guidelines relating to what information employers can process in relation to their employees under COVID-19 return to work procedures and their vaccination status. They examine the question as to whether employers can lawfully collect and process information about the COVID-19 vaccination status of their employees.
The DPC considers the processing of an employee’s vaccine data is likely to represent an unnecessary and excessive data collection for which no clear legal basis exists. This position has been arrived at in the absence of clear advice from public health authorities in Ireland that it is necessary to establish vaccination status of employees and workers. This is especially so where there is no public health advice stating for what purpose the data would be collected.
The Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise Trade and Employment, Leo Varadkar TD recently announced the Government's plans for the introduction of a statutory sick pay scheme for employees. This will grant sick pay entitlements to all workers who meet the necessary requirements.
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The Government has announced that it is giving full consideration to remote working in Ireland. Among the many aspects under review is the right to disconnect. This article examines the employee's right to disconnect from work outside normal working hours. This applies to employees who attend at their workplace, but who may work from home after hours, as well as employees who regularly work remotely. We look at the current position in Ireland, which is mainly governed by the Organisation of Working Time Act 1997. We also examine the proposed Governmental review of the whole area of working from home, remote working and achieving a good work life balance.