Now is the time to prepare for the safe return to the workplace

Shannon Chamber HR is a dedicated HR and Employment Law Support Service for members of Shannon Chamber provided in partnership with Adare Human Resource Management, experts in Employment Law, Industrial Relations, Human Resources and Health & Safety at preferential

According to Derek McKay, Managing Director at Adare Human Resource Management, employers can start putting their plans in place for the safe return to the workplace now that they have a definitive date, 20th September following the Government announcement earlier this week. In its announcement, the Government stated that any “attendance at work for specific business requirements may commence on phased and staggered attendance basis”.

It was also confirmed that the Government will be revising and updating the Work Safely Protocols ahead of 20th September. However, employers should make sure that they are clear in their communication with employees about their intentions to return to the workplace and the timelines involved to avoid confusion or misunderstanding. If employers haven’t already started this engagement with employers, they would be advised to do so as soon as practical.

Once the Work Safely Protocols are revised, Adare Human Resource Management will share an updated article with Shannon Chamber members. Needless to say, there are still many concerns that need to be addressed, such as vaccine protocols, ventilation and physical office layouts.

Another point of interest from yesterday’s announcement was An Tánaiste, Leo Varadkar’s comment that employees must return to the workplace if their employer asks them to. We have noted in previous articles that employees are bound by the terms and conditions of their employment. The obligation on employers is to ensure they provide the tasks as per the contract and employees carry those tasks out as per their employment contract. There is no obligation for employers to provide any other working arrangements other than those outlined in the contract.

If employers are considering implementing blended or hybrid working, now is the time to finalise policies and procedures and duly communicate same to employees. If you need assistance in developing your policy, please contact one of our expert team.

From 22nd October, the final restrictions are planned to be removed:

    • Requirement for physical distancing
    • Requirement for mask wearing both outdoor and indoor unless in a healthcare setting, on public transport or in a retail setting
    • Requirement to work from home (allowing a return to physical attendance – phased and cautious approach per sector)


In advance of a return to the workplace, we would remind employers of their obligations under the Safety, Health and Welfare at Work Act. Adare Human Resource Management provides the training and assessment necessary to ensure compliance with the Act as part of our DSE Training and Assessment

This is a particularly complex time for many employers so we would remind you that our expert team at Shannon HR is on-hand to provide the necessary support and guidance you need.


Why Shannon Chamber HR?

  • Access to solutions-focused advice and support on HR and Employment Law queries for your Organisation provided by the experienced expert-led team at Adare Human Resource Management, giving you peace of mind that you can effectively manage any employment or HR issues that may arise. For information on the full range of services and supports provided, click here.

For further information on the HR and Employment Law support services provided, to arrange a meeting or to receive a quote, contact the team at Shannon Chamber – / 061 475 854.