We are pleased to annouce the results of their Getting Ireland Back to Work survey. The analysis carried out amongst 300 HR professionals and in-house lawyers who participated in a webinar on the Employment Law and Health & Safety issues associated with a return to the workplace as the COVID-19 restrictions are lifted.
The majority of respondents (76%) reported that their organisation has already started planning the return of employees to the physical workplace, 1% stated that employees have already started returning, while 5% stated that their workplaces have remained open during the crisis.
Most of those surveyed are optimistic about when their workplace will re-open, with 74% believing their centralised workplace will be re-opened by September 2020. Only 7% believe it will be later than September 2020, and 1% are leaning towards their workplaces opening in 2021.
“The results show a marked optimism amongst HR professionals and in-house lawyers, with most respondents already planning for the re-opening of workplaces. This is most likely a result of the positive progress being made by Ireland in terms of flattening the curve of infection. It’s heartening to see that businesses are taking a pro-active approach to bringing employees back to the workplace, but as we work through the complex issues surrounding the re-opening of offices and buildings, it’s key that employers are as flexible as possible when dealing with employees and carry out robust risk assessments on workplaces, document the outcome of those risk assessments and then communicate with and train employees on how to implement mitigations”, commented Melanie Crowley, Head of our Employment & Benefits team.
The majority of those surveyed do have concerns over potential obstacles to the re-opening of workplaces, with 51% stating that difficulties around social distancing may delay employees returning to offices and workplaces, and 24% stating that employee concerns over further virus transmission may also be an obstacle.
“The obligation to ensure workplaces are safe and any exposure to potential claims for workplace infections are clearly high on the agenda for employers” continued Melanie, “and so too is the need to factor in employees’ personal circumstances especially with regard to vulnerabilities and practical issues like childcare. This may mean that working from home becomes a more permanent feature of our working lives, where that can be accommodated”.
To watch our webinar on “Getting Ireland Back to Work: Employment Law and Health & Safety issues” please click here
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