Work-at-home COVID guidance removed in Northern Ireland


In Northern Ireland on Monday, telecommuting guidance was removed when possible. This means that the COVID-19 policy for this region is consistent with other UK jurisdictions.

The Northern Ireland Executive said the decision was made after an assessment by the COVID-19 Task Force, “balancing health, economic and social considerations and incorporating the latest medical and scientific advice.” I did.

Northern Ireland has had no working executives for the past four months due to the absence of the first and deputy ministers due to a dispute over the Brexit agreement, but other ministers have approved the removal of work from home guidance. ..

A spokesman for the Secretariat (TEO) said that “the threat of COVID-19 has certainly not disappeared” but “is retreating” and that the guidance “at this point” is disproportionate.

“Like the removal of other COVID-19 measures, this should not be construed as meaning that there is no risk from COVID, or that the pandemic is over. Life continues to return to normal, but we Must be careful, “said the spokesman.

A spokesperson said employers “may still want to consider maintaining remote or flexible work” and “need to carefully consider what practical mitigation measures will be implemented.” There is. “

A spokeswoman said, due to the reduced risk of serious illness from COVID-19 to vaccines and new treatments, “by taking wise precautions in our daily lives, we can continue on our way back to normal. “.

Epoch Times Photo
Simon Hamilton, Chief Executive Officer of the Belfast Chamber of Commerce, welcomed the move to ease telecommuting on June 6, 2022. (Michael Cooper / PA Media)

Simon Hamilton, CEO of the Belfast Chamber of Commerce, said the change meant Northern Ireland was catching up with other jurisdictions.

“This is good news, and the Belfast Chamber of Commerce has been encouraging the Minister to do so for some time,” said the former Minister.

“Other jurisdictions have updated their work from home guides a few months ago, but Northern Ireland has been late, so this has been late for a long time, but it’s not very welcome,” he adds. I did.

Hamilton said members of the Belfast Chamber of Commerce have made a “heavy investment” in COVID-19 safety measures in the workplace and “we are pleased that this fact is reflected in this common-sense decision.” Stated.

“This step in the right direction allows many businesses to introduce new ways of working, and staff return to the office more regularly, so for businesses in places like Belfast city centre. It provides a very necessary boost, “he added.

Westminster’s central government, which is developing the UK’s public health policy, has stopped requiring people to work from home since January 19.

Scotland began a “gradual return” to the office on January 31, but the government continues to “encourage employers to promote hybrid and flexible work.”

On January 28, Wales lifted the legal restrictions that require people to work from home unless they cannot.

Currently there is no guidance in Wales asking you to work from home, but it is official guidance The employer said: “The most effective way to minimize the risk of exposure to infectious diseases at work is to have some or all staff at home as often as possible, especially during periods of high prevalence (such as autumn / winter). To be able to work .. “

Lily Chow

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Lily Zhou is a freelance writer who mainly covers the British news of The Epoch Times.

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