This news article featured in issue no. 12 in CHSP’s March 2022 newsletter.
On 12th May 2020 a woman based in Ireland who wishes to remain anonymous felt she was left with no other option but to quit her job during the COVID lockdown as her employer refused to allow her to work from home as per the government guidelines at the time. She was working as an office based Facilities Coordinator along with two other workers.
The womans husband was considered vulnerable as he suffers from asthma which meant there was a high risk element that the Employer had not considered adequately given this employees circumstances prior to their decision. This put both their Employee and others at high risk. All three Facilities Operations (including the employee to which this article relates) Coordinators at the organisation handed in a remote working proposal where two workers could work from home at a time in order to reduce the risk, these proposals were rejected.
Failure to conduct an adequate risk assessment under the widely reported change of circumstances of national and international significance of the time and individual personal circumstances failing to reduce risk to provide a safe place to work.
The regular workplace was a university residence of 3,200 rooms to accommodate students many of which were self-isolating and had approximately 1000 workers.
An adequate risk assessment review of the workplace upon changes taking into account personal circumstances and government guidance.
The workplace relations commission representative Mr. Baneham ordered the Employer to pay the ex employee 3,712 euros compensation.