Employers asked to do more to help people working at home

One of the main unions in the country is asking employers to do more to help people working from home.

SIPTU say all employers, in both the private and public sector, should listen to the advice of the National Public Health Emergency Team (NPHET) for Covid-19, and ensure that wherever possible they facilitate employees to work from home.

SIPTU Public Administration and Community Division organiser, Adrian Kane, said: “The majority of employers are proactive in assisting employees to work from home – however, many SIPTU members, in public and private sectors, have been in contact with the union in recent days expressing concern that they are being asked to report for work in their workplaces in circumstances where working from home could be facilitated.”

Mr Kane said employers should put public health first, and that means facilitating working from home where possible and keeping vital services intact by ensuring that safety plans are reviewed in light of the new strains of the Covid-19 virus.

“There must also be a coherent approach in determining the roll-out of the Covid-19 vaccine programme to essential workers.

“Obviously, health workers must be the first in line, but many other workers also have legitimate reasons to be classified as ‘essential workers’ and given priority access to the vaccine.

“They include workers in education, pharmaceutical production, meat and food processing, local authorities, retail and transport.

“The government must engage with trade unions to ensure that a coherent plan in relation to working from home and the roll out of the vaccine programme is devised which all stakeholders can buy into.”