Government Publishes New Guidance for Workplaces as Employees Return

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With employees beginning to return their workplaces, the government has published new guidance.

A document titled The Transitional Protocol was announced this morning by Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment Leo Varadkar.

The document offers guidelines for ensuring workplaces are safe for employees.

The wearing of face masks is no longer compulsory outside of healthcare and customer service sectors, however the new guidelines recommend their continued use.

The document also includes guidance around ventilation and air quality.

"This Transitional Protocol has been developed in consultation with business representative groups and unions," said Varadkar. "It’s a guidance document and is designed to help, not to complicate."

"The emphasis on personal protective measures, including getting vaccinated and boosted, still stands, and it is still crucial that anyone with symptoms isolates and takes a test – either an antigen or PCR depending on their circumstances," he added. "I know employers are speaking to their staff about future working arrangements. We have an opportunity to make remote and hybrid working a permanent fixture of Irish working life. The principle should be that once the business is done and public services are not diminished in any way, it should be facilitated. When workers are in the workplace, this document gives guidance on how to keep them safe."

"The main focus of the document is to maintain safe workplaces within the context of the main restrictions having been lifted," said an Irish Congress of Trade Unions spokesperson. "The pandemic is not over so a cautious approach is still required."

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