By Dónall Breen - 30 September 2020
Welcome to our September edition of Republic of Labour Law, a monthly newsletter in which we distil the most important Irish legal and HR updates from the last month in 500 words or less.
For those of you who do business in Ireland, this should be your one stop shop for what you need to know.
This week in the Republic of Labour Law:
Resilience and Recovery
In past updates we spoke about Ireland’s phased reopening of society and business. That has now given way to a framework of five increasing levels of restrictions that vary locally depending on the infection rate.
This was all published in the ‘Resilience and Recovery 2020-2021: Plan for Living with COVID-19’. The short version is that Ireland is moving from a short-term emergency response approach to a medium-term approach to managing risk and repairing damage.
Most of Ireland is at Level 2 (see here). For employees, this means work from home if possible. Employees are advised to only attend work for essential on-site meetings, inductions and training. There is no restriction on domestic travel.
Critically, Dublin is one of the places at the more severe Level 3 (see here). This means employees must work from home unless absolutely necessary to attend in person and domestic travel is limited the county of Dublin.
It is worth keeping an eye on the Level rating of the area which your site is based and reading up on what is permitted.
Gender Pay Gap Reporting
Ireland’s gender pay gap reporting legislation has been quietly progressing through the Irish legislative process in recent weeks (thanks to my colleague Layne in Kansas for flagging this to me!).
Although the Irish government has promised the final wording for some years now, this recent process indicates it has been given priority and may be enacted soon. Watch this space.
Pandemic Unemployment Payment
Various changes have been made to the government’s pandemic unemployment payment (which seeks to compensate those who have lost their job due to Covid).
This news will largely be relevant to employees who have lost their jobs, but we wanted to flag that the scheme is now open until the end of the year. It was due to close on 17 September. This may give some comfort to employers who want to ensure employees who are losing their job have some form of safety net on the other side.
Has Brexit just gone away?
Absolutely not, and the UK is still hurtling towards a cliff edge on 31 December when the current trade deal runs out. The various political machinations taking place in the background are too intricate to even try to explain here but suffice to say that Ireland still remains poised to see some extreme positive and negative effects if no deal is agreed in time.
If your Irish business will be affected by Brexit, unfortunately it is another issue you need to keep on your radar in the coming months.
That’s all for this month. In the meantime, wishing you all the best.