Return to Work & Employment Law

Tuesday 9th June 2020

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Meeting Health and Safety Challenges in a Covid-19 World

On May 9th last, the Government issued the Return to Work Safely Protocol. The Protocol clearly and comprehensively sets out the steps and processes that businesses must take to mitigate the spread of Covid-19 in the workplace. This underpins the government’s Roadmap for reopening the Irish economy, as Coronavirus (Covid-19) restrictions are lifted in phases.

The situation that employers and employees are currently facing is unprecedented. Never before have they faced such enormous challenges in an environment and economy that is so unstable and uncertain. Both the private and state sector have been hit hard financially. Many businesses are and will continue to struggle to stay afloat. This crisis has unfolded at an astonishing pace hitting businesses that were focused on preparing for the impact of Brexit. 

As restrictions are lifted under the Government’s Roadmap for Recovery, many employees will return to their workplace whilst many more non- essential workers will remain working from home. What must employers and employees do to meet their legal obligations in these unchartered and uncertain times?

The Return to Work Safely Protocol outlines key steps that must be taken by employers and employees to comply with their legal obligations. The requirements are mandatory and apply to all workplaces throughout Ireland. Businesses and employees must take the steps set out in this Protocol to ensure that workplaces are Covid-secure. The Health and Safety Authority has clearly indicated that all employers are required to comply with the Protocol and that it will take enforcement action where necessary.       

The Course

The purpose of this Free e-Learning Course is to hear from the Health and Safety Authority (HSA) about what is legally expected of employers and workers as restrictions are lifted. Workers must understand the risks of Covid-19 to themselves, their colleagues, members of the public and their organisation for non-compliance with the Protocol. Employers must understand their specific obligations which includes making workers aware of their own personal risk of contracting the disease and their personal obligations in event of non-compliance with health and safety measures. They must also understand the implications of failing to comply with the Protocol, particularly where workers or members of the public contract Covid-19 due to those failures. 

The course will cover more than the mere requirements of the Protocol. It will explore and address the real challenges of compliance in practice where employers are being faced with a crisis they have never experienced before. Attendees will get a unique opportunity to hear directly from both the Health and Safety Authority and an independent specialist legal advisor on health and safety matters. You will get to hear from and address questions to a senior member of the HSA who was involved in the drafting of the HSA Checklists for Compliance with the Protocol and a senior HSA Inspector who will be working on ensuring compliance with the Protocol in the future. A legal expert on health and safety issues will also cover key legal issues and examine practical scenarios where key challenges for employers and employees will be explored.

This free webinar is the first of a series of on-line webinars covering work - related matters arising from the pandemic which will run over July and August 2020.

Other upcoming seminars:

  • Responsibilities that arise around Working Remotely – Everything Employers and Employees Should Know
  • Supporting Employee’s Mental Health and Well Being in a Covid-19 World
  • Managing Data Protection and Confidentiality Risks in a Covid-19 World
  • Employment Law Challenges in a Covid-19 World – A Practical Guide

Cost: €29.00 per webinar or the discounted rate of €79.00 where all four are booked together.   

Click here to read more about the Employment Law Series and book your place

Get in touch

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