06 Jan Calls to work from home
Tánaiste Leo Varadkar urges employers to facilitate working from home
The Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment, Leo Varadkar, has urged employers to enable as many workers as possible to stay home because the increase in COVID-19 cases is now “beyond anything any of our models predicted”, he said in a recent statement.
Mr Varadkar said the “vast majority” of workers are now back to work after the Christmas and New Year celebrations — but that doesn’t mean they have to attend the office, factory floor or premises. He urged employers to facilitate their staff to work from home “wherever possible”.
He suggested businesses try to manage short-staffed “at this critical time in our ongoing fight against Covid-19” – even where individuals, such as mechanics or machine operatives, cannot work from home.
“We are now in the middle of a third wave of the virus and the increase in infections, hospitalisations and numbers in ICU is extremely concerning,” Mr Varadkar said in a statement.
“With that in mind, I’m asking employers to encourage and accommodate their employees to stay at home unless they are essential workers.
“I want to urge everyone who can work from home to do so,” he emphasised, while admitting “Christmas and New Year have passed and the vast majority of people are now back at work”.
He said he recognised working from home, or just staying home, will be difficult for some.
“I trust that employers will once again show understanding and support their workers in the transition.”
Explaining the rationale, he said: “The increase in cases that we are seeing is beyond anything any of our models predicted. We need to get case numbers down now and urgently flatten the curve to protect our most vulnerable and ensure our hospitals can continue to provide the best care to those that need it.
“Crucially we now have a vaccine and the end is in sight. However, the darkest hour is just before the dawn. We need to hold firm now and do everything we can to get to the finish line.”
A list of essential workers is available on the Government website, www.gov.ie.