Factsheet for case IE-2020-38/1276 – measures in Ireland
|Country||Ireland , applies nationwide|
|Time period||Open ended, started on 18 September 2020|
|Type||Bipartite collective agreements|
Protection of workers, adaptation of workplace
– Occupational health and safety
|Author||Roisin Farelly (IRN Publishing) and Eurofound|
|Case created||12 October 2020 (updated 13 October 2020)|
Meat Industry Ireland (part of the employer body Ibec) and SIPTU concluded an agreement on health and safety measures to mitigate the risk of COVID-19 in the sector.
There have been more than 1,500 cases of the virus confirmed in the meat processing sector since the pandemic began and some facilities were forced to close temporarily as a result of the virus.
Measures to be undertaken under the code of practice include the following:
In addition serial testing of the workforce is to continue and temperature testing of workers on arrival at work will also continue.
It was also agreed that joint employer/worker forums will be established to ensure full compliance with precautionary measures agreed and adherence to the protocols.
Entire meat processing industry.
Other groups of workers
Sector specific set of companies
||Does not apply to citizens|
Company / Companies
No special funding required
Social partners' role in designing the measure and form of involvement:
|Trade unions||Employers' organisations|
|Role||Agreed (outcome) incl. social partner initiative||Agreed (outcome) incl. social partner initiative|
|Form||Not applicable||Not applicable|
Social partners' role in the implementation, monitoring and assessment phase:
The protocol was agreed by the employer and union sides following a number of outbreaks in the sector. It was agreed between Meat Industry Ireland (part of the employer body Ibec) and SIPTU.
A joint employer/worker forum will be established in a number of areas to ensure full compliance with these measures, Siptu said.
Meat Industry Ireland (MII) said that the document formalises existing measures in place in meat processing facilities, as well as drawing on the common ground in separate proposals put forward by MII and SIPTU. Director Cormac Healy said they were 'pleased to have worked with SIPTU' on the document, adding that “the sharp reductions in clusters in meat plants and the low rate of positive test incidence shown by the ongoing serial testing” shows that their efforts are working.
SIPTU manufacturing division organiser Greg Ennis said the union and MII 'will review the implementation and adherence to the protocol on an ongoing basis', with information on the protocol to be made available in all the national languages of the workers involved. He added that the agreement of the protocol 'demonstrates that there is a coherent approach by employers and workers’ representatives in the industry', putting health as the priority.
|Economic area||Sector (NACE level 2)|
|C - Manufacturing||C10 Manufacture of food products|
|Occupation (ISCO level 2)|
|Food processing, wood working, garment and other craft and related trades workers|
Eurofound (2020), Agreement on safety protocols for meat industry, case IE-2020-38/1276 (measures in Ireland), COVID-19 EU PolicyWatch, Dublin, http://eurofound.link/covid19eupolicywatch
Disclaimer: This information has not been subject to the full Eurofound evaluation, editorial and publication process. All information is preliminary and subject to change.