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COVID-19 Business Continuity Update

27 July, 2020

As we move toward phase four of Ireland’s Roadmap for reopening society and business (expected at the date of this publication to commence on 10th August 2020), we are implementing a phased return to the office in accordance with government guidance and the directions of public health authorities in the context of the current COVID-19 pandemic.

As an employer, we are bound to work within the framework of Ireland’s Return to Work Safely Protocol (the “Protocol”), which is designed to support employers and workers to put measures in place that will help prevent the spread of COVID-19 in the workplace as our economy begins to slowly open up.

Our COVID-19 office readiness and containment measures (“Measures”) are dictated by the Protocol and while it is impossible to eliminate the possibility of a case in our offices, we are committed to taking all reasonably practicable steps to mitigate this risk.  By way of example only, the Measures we have implemented within our firm include the following (and may be subject to change):

•  Developing, implementing and updating our COVID-19 response and return to office plan, including procedures to deal with a suspected case of COVID-19 and the controls necessary to mitigate the risks identified.

•  Developing or amending our policies and procedures for prompt identification and isolation of any staff member, contractor or visitor who may have symptoms of COVID-19, as appropriate, including keeping a log of contact/group work to facilitate contact tracing, attendance plans and rotational working arrangements.

•  As we have a legal obligation to protect the health of our staff and maintain a safe place of work, visitors to our offices, including clients or prospective clients, will be asked to inform us in advance of attending the office if they have visited an affected area and/or are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms. We will only ask you to share information that is necessary and proportionate to comply with our obligations in this regard.  All information shared with us will be treated in the strictest confidence, used for these specific purposes only and processed in accordance with our Privacy Policy

• Developing, communicating and implementing workplace changes or policies, including consultation with and communications to our staff, including, for example, through the use of staff surveys, consultations, pre-return to work questionnaires and induction.

•  The appointment of two worker representatives within the firm to address staff queries or concerns about COVID-19.

•  Training and advice on the measures recommended under the Protocol to reduce the spread, including good hand hygiene, respiratory etiquette, physical distancing and clean desk requirements.

•  Making available the necessary public health advice from Ireland’s Health Service Executive and other sources as appropriate and as the information about the virus continues to evolve and public health advice is updated.

•  In place of face to face meetings we will continue to leverage technology to conduct internal and external meetings via telephone and video conference.

•  All domestic and international business travel remains suspended.

The health and safety of our people and clients of course remains paramount, particularly in the current environment.

As we all continue to navigate through the current COVID-19 landscape, we are committed to maintaining business as usual and ensuring our clients continue to receive the highest quality service without disruption.

Each of the Dublin and Galway offices remain open with a reduced workforce present onsite to facilitate ongoing business.  Our experienced legal teams are on standby to assist clients with the business and legal challenges this unprecedented situation is presenting; please get in touch with your usual contact to discuss any particular challenges we can assist with.

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