Many questions arise for employees regarding their employment rights during the Covid-19. Emergency period and while continuing to work from home :-
- Holiday leave – If the employer has availed of the Temporary Wage Subsidy employees continue to be employed and therefore their holiday entitlements continue to accrue because they are deemed to be still working. What is not so simple is how much the employee will actually be paid whilst on holiday leave. This amount will depend on normal pay in the week last worked before taking the holiday leave.
- Concern for a vulnerable relative or if the employee is himself/herself in the high risk category does not entitle that employee to refuse to attend the workplace. Employers have been asked to be as understanding and flexible as possible but if an employee has been asked to return to the workplace and they refuse on these grounds disciplinary action may ensue.
- If an employee’s job function cannot be carried out remotely they must attend the work place.
- If an employee is on lay off or short term hours during the Covid-19 emergency they cannot request to be treated as redundant until the emergency period has expired.
- An employer’s obligations under the Health & Safety at Work Act extends to those employees who are working from home.
- Employees must continue to cooperate and communicate with their employer.
- Employees must continue to follow any procedures put in place by their employer.
- Employees must protect any equipment provided by their employer and protect themselves from harm while carrying out their duties.