The chief executive of the Free Legal Advice Centres network (FLAC) has said that people who have been told by their employer they have to resign if they cannot return to work should not do so.
Eilis Barry told RTÉ radio’s News at One that during the pandemic the number of enquiries to FLAC in relation to employment have doubled.
Ms Barry said she was advising people not to resign if they were told to do so by their employer if they cannot go back to work because they do not have childcare.
We are telling people don't resign if you are being told to do that. You can bring a claim to the WRC (Workplace Relations Commission) under a variety of legislation.
There has been a lack of impact assessment by the government, she added.
People are being told they have to come back to work on a specific date, she said, but many cannot do so for a number of reasons such as lack of childcare; they are in an at-risk category because of underlying conditions; they would be putting a family member at risk or they do not have access to public transport.
Employment rights have never been more important, but there is no free legal aid to the WRC no matter how complex the case, pointed out Ms Barry.