Public and civil servants unclear over whether lockdown applies to them or not

28 March 2020
By Bryan Smyth

What is ‘essential’ work? – as regards office workers

The trade union Fórsa has sought official guidance to ensure maximum consistency on decisions about what public services are deemed essential during the current crisis.

In new guidance issued yesterday, the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform (DPER) said senior management in individual public service organisations should define what services are essential to continue, and what staff are needed to deliver them.

Fórsa first raised the issue after the Government announced that people should not to go to work if they could work from home or if their attendance at the workplace was not essential. Staff involved in processing work in the Department of Social Protection are not attending offices today.

The union has also sought clarification on the position of staff who depend on public transport after An Taoiseach advised against any “unnecessary” travel.

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