Chambers Ireland today (9 May 2020) welcomes the launch and publication by Government of the new National “Return to Work Safely” Protocol.
The Protocol serves as a framework to support employers and employees to put measures in place that will prevent the spread of COVID-19 in the workplace when the economy begins to slowly open.
Speaking at the launch this afternoon, Chambers Ireland Chief Executive Ian Talbot said,
“The process involved in re-opening the economy will not be a simple one. Ensuring the health and safety of workers, employers and consumers continues to be our shared goal. As businesses around the country plan for how they will adapt to operating during a pandemic, today’s Protocol will be an essential framework to enable that.
The opportunity to collaborate and consult in the production of the Protocol is very much welcomed by our members. It is intended that this will be a living document and will respond to the changing circumstances we find ourselves in over the coming weeks and months. Our own priority has been to ensure that the Protocol is cognisant of the needs of SMEs, as well as larger companies, so that all businesses are supported to re-open, when the time is right.
We would also remind Government that the process of re-opening will come with additional costs for many employers, as was found in research published by Chambers Ireland last week. These costs will impact viability in many cases. More financial supports, along with the expansion of grants, will be essential if employers are to restore jobs and successfully re-open within the parameters in place due to the virus. We welcome ongoing dialogue with Government on this matter.”