Construction sector must get return to work protocols absolutely right

12 May 2020

Speaking ahead of the reopening of construction sites, Labour Councillor Alison Gilliland and chair of the Dublin City Council Strategic Policy Committee on Housing, said:

“As building sites prepare to open this day week, the construction sector must get its return to work protocols absolutely right otherwise we risk a spike in Covid19 cases across our communities.

“Construction workers and their families are anxious that the national return to work protocols published at the weekend are built upon to safely accommodate the particulars of on-site work practices.

“For example, how will close contact of more than two workers be managed? what will be the minimum ratio of toilet facilities per worker on site? will there be a requirement for workers to travel singly as opposed to the practice of sharing vehicles given that many travel from afar? Given that the first language of many workers in this sector may not be English, will the pre-return to work form and induction training be provided in a variety of foreign languages? How can workers confidentially report non-compliance? All such particulars need to be carefully thought out and strict protocols put in place.

“The construction sector is notorious for bogus self-employment practices – such practices must be eradicated and workers given proper employment contacts so as to benefit from the protections of employment legislation, employer PRSI contributions and the employer responsibilities agreed in the return to work protocols.

“The construction sector return to work protocols that will be negotiated this week between the Construction Industry Federation and the construction unions offer a real opportunity for the sector to clean up its act and ensure site workers, their families and their communities are protected from Covid19 contagion.”



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