Employers still asking staff to attend workplaces where remote working possible - Siptu

The trade union has urged employers to heed Nphet advice and facilitate working from home wherever possible
Employers still asking staff to attend workplaces where remote working possible - Siptu

Siptu Public Administration and Community Division Organiser, Adrian Kane, said the majority of employers have been “proactive” in assisting employees to work from home. File photo

Siptu has reiterated its calls for employers to facilitate working from home wherever possible after members reported being asked to report for work in their workplaces in circumstances where working from home could be facilitated.

The call comes as Ireland recorded 63 further deaths from Covid-19 yesterday, the second-highest daily figure since the pandemic began.

Siptu Public Administration and Community Division Organiser, Adrian Kane, said while the majority of employers have been “proactive” in assisting employees to work from home, many members, in both the public and private sectors, have expressed concerns in recent days over being called back to their workplaces despite being able to work remotely.

“Employers need to put public health above all other concerns,” Mr Kane said, stressing that employers should heed the advice of the National Public Health Emergency Team (Nphet).

“This means facilitating working from home wherever possible and keeping vital services intact by ensuring that safety plans are reviewed in light of the increased transmissibility of the new strains of the virus.” 

The Siptu representative added that there needs to be “a coherent approach” in determining the roll-out of the Covid-19 vaccine programme to frontline and essential workers.

“Obviously, health workers must be the first in line. 

However, many other workers also have legitimate reasons why they should be classified as ‘essential workers’ and given priority access to the vaccine.

“These include workers in sectors such as education, pharmaceutical production, meat and food processing, local authorities, retail and transport.” 

“The Government must engage with trade unions to ensure that a coherent plan in relation to working from home and the roll out of the vaccine programme is devised which all stakeholders can buy into,” he concluded.

Chief Medical Officer Dr Tony Holohan has urged people to stay at home as the number of hospitalisations continues to rise.

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