25th August - DPER Guidance and FAQ's effective from 24th August 2020

Dear all

Guidance and FAQS for Public Service Employers during COVID19 24th August 2020.pdf (size 1.1 MB)

Attached are the recent DPER Guidance and FAQ’s in relation to working arrangements and temporary assignments across the Public Service effective from 24th August (unless otherwise stated).  The changes to the previous document are included in the following sections:

1.1       Who should attend the employer’s work premises?  

As per the Government announcement of 18th August, employees should only attend the workplace where it is essential for them to do so. This must be balanced with the requirement to continue to provide the most effective and efficient services to the public.

On this basis employers will determine what roles are required to be done in the workplace. The advice states that these measures will be in place until at least 13th September.   For employees who are required to attend the work premises, employers should continue to facilitate social distancing and public health requirements. Where feasible, employers may consider the continuation of temporary alternative arrangements, or new temporary arrangements e.g. flexible shifts, staggered hours, longer opening hours, blended working patterns, weekend working etc.   There should be engagement between management and unions/associations, in line with appropriate arrangements, for any such continued or new arrangements.

2.1    Should employees who are at high risk for serious illness from COVID-19 attend the work premises?  

         Employers should continue to facilitatethis group where possible in terms of flexible working arrangements, including working remotely where such arrangements are appropriate to the business needs. Employers are working to implement measures to ensure the safety of the

         workplace for all employees, as provided for in the Return to Work Safely Protocol.   

         High risk employees who are required to attend the work premises, in accordance with HSE advice, should take extra care to practice social distancing where possible and wash their hands regularly and properly. Appropriate measures may need to be considered for employees in

         the high risk category in the work premises where maintaining social distancing is difficult.


4.2    Is special leave with pay available for caring responsibilities? 

   There is no special paid leave available for COVID-19 caring arrangements during this time. Any employee who wishes to avail of existing leave allowances during this time is entitled to have such requests considered by their employer, as always, including parental leave, annual  

   leave etc.

   Removal of 4.3 (old section number) from previous version: What arrangements are in place for childcare for essential healthcare workers?  


4.3    (updated section number) Should employees who live with very high risk individuals attend the work premises?   

5.2    How should probation be managed during COVID-19? 

         A flexible and pragmatic approach to the management of probation for both new entrants and promotions should be adopted. The assessment of a probationer’s performance should continue and can take place remotely where necessary. Managers should ensure that

         probationers have clearly defined objectives and duties that continue to be evaluated on an ongoing basis, in line with the usual probationary process. Managers should continue to support and develop these individuals in their roles.

         As noted in previous guidance, in exceptional circumstances it may not have been possible to proceed with the probation process and it was advised that it may be paused. A probationary period which has been paused will be resumed when the probationer returns to duties that

         allow for probation to be assessed adequately. If a probation process has been paused, local HR Units should formally and clearly communicate to the individuals a timeframe for resumption.


Ann Warnock  |Administrative Officer | Human Resources Department
(: 071/9620005 Ext. 151.  | 7:  (071) 9621982 | *:  awarnock@leitrimcoco.ie  | Map Location: Click Here
Leitrim County Council | Aras an Chontae, Carrick-on-Shannon, Co. Leitrim.

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