Masks

Letter for School Principle

We have been inundated with messages and emails from many distraught parents as a result of the Government’s acceptance 30th Nov 2021 of NPHET recommendation regarding face coverings in primary schools for children of 9 years and above.

ACT NOW! MAKE YOUR VOICES HEARD!

Below is a letter you can send to the principal and board of management of your child’s school voicing your objection.

URGENT INTERVENTION TO STOP PRIMARY SCHOOLS RECOMMENDING THAT CHILDREN WEAR FACE MASKS IN THE ABSENCE OF ANY RISK ASSESSMENT

We have been contacted by a number of parents that are extremely concerned about Principals taking it upon themselves to recommend that children wear face masks at primary schools. Some Schools are even starting to supply face masks for children. This follows lobbying by INTO’s John Boyle on 22nd November in the media calling for primary school children to be ‘encouraged’ to wear face masks.

Take action.


LODGE URGENT OBJECTION WITH HIQA, CHILDREN’S OMBUDSMAN, THE MINISTER FOR EDUCATION ABOUT ANY PROPOSAL TO EXTEND THE FACE MASK POLICY TO PRIMARY SCHOOLS

We have been contacted by concerned parents about the lobbying yet again in the media by INTO for an extension of the face mask mandate to primary schools. See submission below to lodge to HIQA, INTO, the Children’s Ombudsman, the National Parents Council Primary and the Minister for Education.

Take action.


URGENT CHALLENGE TO NPHET’S RECOMMENDATION ON FACE MASKS FOR CHILDREN

Letter to contest Nephet’s recommendation to lower the age requirement for children to wear face masks to 9 years.

We have been overwhelmed with messages and emails about NPHET’s recommendation to lower the age requirement for children to wear face masks to 9 years old. We have drafted a submission to forward to Minister Foley, INTO, the National Parents Council, the Children’s Ombudsman and HIQA.

Take Action


FACE MASK POLICIES IN WORKPLACES

We have been contacted by several people recently who inform us that their workplace is still imposing face mask policies or have reimposed them recently.

We have reposted our previous post on this below and submission people can adapt and forward to their Employer in the first instance. If there is no response/satisfactory response an employee can issue a formal written grievance in accordance with their workplace internal process, as per Staff Handbook, and the Workplace Relations Commission Code of Practice on Disciplinary and Grievance Procedures:

FACE MASK POLICIES BEING IMPOSED IN WORKPLACES AFTER 28TH FEBRUARY

We have received several queries from employees who have been contacted by their employers and informed that they will still be required to wear a face mask in the workplace, irrespective of the fact that the Government removed this requirement in all settings as from 28th February, save for health care.

When the face mask guidelines were lifted by the Government on 22nd January for indoor hospitality, we received reports that certain business still insisted that customers wore face masks, for example, in cafes and restaurants, amongst other venues, on the basis that it was their ‘policy’.

Lawyers for Justice are of the opinion that we must all keep a watchful eye and push back on any attempt by businesses to impose such restrictions as otherwise we could witness the replacement of public health measures and legislation by business ‘policies’ as a normalised part of our society.

It is somewhat ironic that all we have heard for the last 23 months from businesses that religiously applied the Government’s rules, that they were following ‘public health’ only for citizens to NOW be informed that it is irrelevant that such public health measures have been lifted. Whatever happened to ‘follow the science’?

It is noteworthy that the updated ‘Transitional Protocol Good Practice Guidance for Continuing to Prevent the Spread of COVID-19’ of 22nd February published by the Government makes reference to the continuation of face masks in the workplace as ‘good practice’ in crowded areas. Under the previous Work Safely Protocols issued by the Government it was a requirement to wear face masks in the workplace where physical distancing of 2 metres could not be maintained. This requirement was underpinned by the legislation on face masks as contained in SI 296 of 2020 which was reproduced in the Schedule.

The underpinning legislation on face masks will be lifted on 28th February and the requirement no longer applies in any setting save for health care. Employers cannot just simply impose a face mask requirement as a PPE policy in the workplace without firstly demonstrating adherence to health and safety legislation, including the requirement to conduct a Risk Assessment and publish a Safety Statement to show that it is necessary.

If employers impose a policy requiring an employee to wear a face mask in the workplace they must firstly demonstrate that they have complied with their statutory duties by:

-Updating the Covid-19 Response Plan to take account of the changed public health advice in consultation with employees

-Conducting a Risk Assessment and publish a Safety Statement in accordance with Section 19 and 20 of the Safety Health and Welfare at Work Act 2005 on the necessity for implementing a face mask policy in the workplace as from 28th February

-Demonstrating written compliance with their statutory obligations on PPE as contained in Regulation 62(1) to (3), 64, 66 and 67 of S.I. No. 299/2007 – Safety, Health and Welfare at Work (General Application) Regulations 2007.

We have drafted a submission that people can send to their employers stating that until such time they have demonstrated compliance with the raft of health and safety legislation, consulted with employees and have shown the necessity of this measure, they cannot demand that an employee wears a face mask in the workplace. It should therefore be a matter of personal choice.


Email us on lawyersforjustice@yahoo.com for further assistance


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