The Return to Work Safely Protocol is supporting employers and employees to put measures in place that will prevent the spread of COVID-19 in the workplace as the economy opens up, following the temporary closure of most businesses during the pandemic.

The Protocol sets out workplace guidelines relating to social distancing, hand hygiene, first aid, mental health, ventilation and heating, to reduce the risk of COVID-19 in the workplace. A high-level consultative stakeholder forum, under the aegis of the Labour Employer Economic Forum was set up in May.

This forum, which includes representatives from various bodies responsible for health and safety at work and public health in general, allows for ongoing engagement at national level to implement issues in light of public health advice and other factors.

The Protocol is the result of a collaborative effort by the Health and Safety Authority (HSA), the Health Service Executive (HSE), the Department of Health and the Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation, following discussions involving ICTU, IBEC, the HSA, the HSE and the Department of Health.