Revised workplace advice: Here's what you need to know

The phased return to the physical workplace is now underway
Jack Quann
Jack Quann

06.34 31 Jan 2022

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Revised workplace advice: Here...

Revised workplace advice: Here's what you need to know

Jack Quann
Jack Quann

06.34 31 Jan 2022

Share this article

Employers are being urged to adopt a cautious approach to the return to the workplace under new Government advise that has been published.

The latest guidance for businesses recommends a gradual process, consultation with unions and supports for nervous staff.

It is also urging companies to continue to have infection prevention controls in place.


On January 21st, the Government announced the relaxation of many public health measures - including the requirement to work from home unless necessary to attend in person.

The phased return to the physical workplace is now underway.

The Government says the new guidance is a general document that applies to all sectors, but is not designed to stop the introduction of "specific measures in particular sectors or workplaces".

It says all businesses which have specific guidance should review and update their own guidance in line with this advice.

It says: "Public health advice still emphasises that vaccination against COVID-19 remains a key element to not only protect the individual from serious illness but also in protecting the wider community too.

"Employers and workers should keep up to date with information on the national strategy regarding vaccination against COVID-19".

Signs of COVID-19

It says workers should continue to follow the public health advice and guidance in the workplace.

"Workers should continue to follow the requirements set out in this document and with any specific direction from the employer.

"They should also continue to maintain good hand hygiene and respiratory etiquette practices.

"If a worker has any signs or symptoms of COVID-19, they should not attend work and should get a test and follow the relevant public health advice".

It also says public health advice on the continued wearing of masks, practicing of physical distancing, avoidance of crowded environments and adherence to basic hand and respiratory hygiene should be followed.


For workers travelling on public transport to and from work, they must continue to wear a face mask/covering.

Those travelling to and from work in cars should also consider wearing a face mask/covering.


On vaccines, it says workers who have yet to be vaccinated should make themselves aware of and keep up to date on the National Vaccination Programme roll-out.

"Getting vaccinated not only protects the individual worker but also their family and loved ones too", the document says.

Work From Home

On working from home, it says employers should "discuss and engage" with workers who may be anxious about the physical return to the workplace.

The Government has also called on employers, in consultation with their employees, to start to develop or finalise long-term arrangements for blended or remote working.

"The employer should develop and consult on any remote or working from home policy and in conjunction with workers and/or trades unions", it adds.

Tánaiste Leo Varadkar says an emphasis must be kept on preventative measures.

"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.

"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."

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