Clarity sought on definition of essential work
by Bernard Harbor

Fórsa has sought official guidance to ensure maximum consistency on decisions about what public services are deemed essential during the current crisis.


In new guidance issued today (27th March), the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform (DPER) says senior management in individual public service organisations should define what services are essential to continue, and what staff are needed to deliver them.


As well as impacting on service provision, these decisions could have implications for staff attendance at work, and for temporary reassignments of staff.


Fórsa first raised the issue after the Government announced that people should not to go to work if they could work from home or if their attendance at the workplace was not essential.


The union has also sought clarification on the position of staff who depend on public transport after An Taoiseach advised against any “unnecessary” travel.


In the meantime, the union continues to advise members to report for work as normal unless:

  • You have been told not to attend work by your manager or HR department
  • Remote working arrangements have been put in place, and you have been told to work at home by your manager or HR department
  • You have a medical reason for not attending work
  • You are self-isolating on medical or HSE advice.

Fórsa is advising its members to await guidance from their employers. Otherwise they may lose pay if they fail to report for work.


The union has also updated its advice to members as it applies to staff who are pregnant or who have a medical vulnerability.


Read more HERE

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