The Department of Education has released a new Circular Letter (Circular 0021/2021) setting out arrangements for teachers that will apply upon full reopening of schools. It can be accessed here.
The main points of the Circular are as follows:
This Circular will replace Circular 0049/2020 and also Information Note TC 0007/2021, Information Note TC 0008/2021, Information Note TC 0009/2021, Information Note TC 0010/2021 and Information Note TC 0011/2021.
In relation to pregnant teachers, the Department awaits clarifications on the recently published HSE guidance for the education sector. In the meantime, and as referenced in Circular 0021/2021, this group of employees should continue to work from home on a temporary basis.
During the partial re-opening period for schools, temporary leave arrangements were made available to employees relating to the Parental Leave Scheme and the Unpaid Leave Scheme. Upon the full re-opening of schools, these temporary arrangements are no longer available. Therefore, the normal terms and conditions of the Parental Leave Scheme and the Unpaid Leave Scheme will apply.
As part of the School COVID-19 Response Plan, employers must make a COVID-19 Return to Work Form available to all employees for completion, to assist with their safe return to the workplace following a long absence.
In accordance with HSE advice, an employee in the ‘high risk’ group (including an employee over 60 years of age) who is not ill must attend the workplace.