News & Media

No worker should feel they have to go to work while sick

16 October 2020

Statement by Senator Marie Sherlock
Seanad Whip and Spokesperson on Employment Affairs, Media, Arts, Culture and the Gaeltacht
Marie Sherlock
  • Employers need clear directions from Government to instruct workers to work from home

No worker should feel compelled to come to work while sick and particularly during this pandemic where employees, employers and the community all owe a responsibly to each other.

Labour Spokesperson on Employment Affairs, Senator Marie Sherlock was speaking after Deputy C.M.O Dr Ronán Glynn said at Thursdays NPHET briefing that he had received reports of people in work ringing GPs with symptoms.

“Not only is this a shocking indictment of the lack of mandatory paid sick leave in this country and the employers who have failed to adequately provide for their employees,  it also is a reflection of the lack of specific instructions from Government to employers to encourage workers to work from home if at all possible.

“The legal position is that an employee must work where they are directed to work by their employer. The onus is now on employers to show leadership and to instruct their workers to work from home if it is possible to do so.

"Employers have an obligation to protect employees and no worker should be forced to attend in person if they can discharge their duties remotely. No worker should be forced to come to work sick this winter.