Sinn Féin spokesperson on Enterprise, Trade, and Employment, Louise O’Reilly, has called on the Government to stop ignoring NPHET guidance and immediately reinstate the public health body’s ‘advice’ allowing workers the option to work remotely from home.
In support of her argument for a stricter adherence to NPHET, Deputy O’Reilly quoted infectious disease consultant, Dr Eoghan de Barra, who has claimed that going into work in an office every day is riskier than occasionally going to a nightclub.
The Sinn Fein TD for Dublin Fingal also claimed that the current government advice to employers, which supports a return to the office on a phased and cautious basis, was wrong and must be reconsidered.
Deputy O’Reilly also claimed that some employers and managers are actively and “unnecessarily endangering workers” by requesting employees to return to the office or work site where possible.
According to the Sinn Fein TD, workers preference around how and where they work must be prioritised regardless of the steps that an employer may have taken to ensure that a return to physical on-site work environment is fully compliant with social distancing or other health advice
“where a worker’s preference is to continue to perform their duties from home, then that process should be supported.”
“NPHET has now come out and strongly advised government to advise that people work from home, where possible, and that employers be supportive of the move,” Deputy O’Reilly said.
This latest round of demands from Sinn Fein for government to give greater priority to NPHET advice comes after another of its TD’s, Imelda Munster, questioned the re-opening of hospitality amid rising case numbers, and called on the government to institute stronger enforcement of Covid certs against non-compliant businesses.