Thursday 15 November 2018

Care staff will not have pay docked after being told not to go to work during Storm Ophelia

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Care staff who were instructed by their employer not to come to work on Monday due to Hurricane Ophelia were left in the dark over whether their pay would be docked or a day's annual leave deducted when they returned to work on Tuesday.

The HSE-funded St Vincent's Centre on the Navan Road in Dublin provides adult day care services for the disabled.

The Status Red warning issued by Met Éireann on Sunday night led the Daughters of Charity management, which runs the centre, to send a text message to 15 nursing and administrative staff telling them not to present for work. However, when they arrived on Tuesday morning, they were told that a day was being taken out of their annual leave as a result.

The Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation (INMO), today, welcomed the written confirmation by the HSE National Director for HR that staff who adhered to the red weather warning last Monday, in respect of Hurricane Ophelia, will not be docked pay or expected to offset annual leave against the day.

The organisation had indicated, in a public statement on Tuesday, that it would not tolerate any employer deducting pay from staff or offsetting their leave against the day.

Welcoming the HSE decision, David Hughes, INMO Deputy General Secretary said that it represented a common sense approach, which had been advocated by the Taoiseach himself and  is most welcome.

“A lot of lessons have been learned from how Hurricane Ophelia was handled and in respect of employment rights, the government must, in future, make it clear that when they call for public adherence to the stay at home message, they must equally make it clear that the day amounts to the equivalent of a public holiday.”

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