Implications of return to school and childcare and exposure to Covid 19

To coincide with the reopening of primary and secondary schools, Ibec has drawn up a related employer considerations guidance document.

The document is intended to help organisations manage absenteeism as a result of employees with children who are returning to, and/or attending, school or childcare facilities and who are experiencing symptoms of Covid-19.

It is divided into two parts:

Part A: Clinical/HPSC Guidance
Part B: HR Guidance

The HR Guidance section discusses the supports and options that are open for employers to consider where employees are not in a position to work from home and cannot attend work due to childcare responsibilities.

Depending on the circumstances that present, employers should consider alternative arrangements for employees who may need to take time-off work to care for their children in these circumstances.

In the first instance, there are a number of non-statutory arrangements that include:
• Altering shift patterns
• Swapping shifts
• Giving the employees the option to work back time taken
• Temporary reassignment of duties that can be worked from home
• Taking a period of unpaid leave
• Bringing forward annual leave entitlements that have not yet been accrued

Where it is not possible to provide alternative arrangements for employees, employers can consider the application of statutory leave entitlements.