Returning to work safely

Back to work

Do not return to your workplace if you:

If you are returning to work, you need to take some precautions. Follow the advice of your employer. This is to protect you from coronavirus.

Before you return to work

Before you return to work you need to:

  • complete a pre-return to work form
  • tell your employer about any circumstances related to coronavirus they should know about
  • take part in any training your employer provides

Pre-return to work form

You’ll need to complete this form at least 3 days before you return to work. This form is specific to your job and is only available from your employer.

The form is to confirm that you:

  • do not have symptoms of coronavirus
  • are not self-isolating
  • are not waiting on results of a coronavirus test
  • have not been in contact with someone who has the virus

Protect yourself in the workplace


+ Follow any measures put in place by your employer to maintain social distancing

+ Wash your hands regularly and properly

+ Follow hygiene advice when coughing or sneezing

+ Travel to work alone

+ Use your own pen for signing in

download and use the COVID Tracker app – you\’ll get an alert you if you have been in close contact with someone who has tested positive for coronavirus


+ Do not touch your eyes, mouth, or nose

+ Do not share objects that touch your mouth, for example, bottles or cups

+ Do not shake hands with anyone

+ Do not have face-to-face meetings or go on business trips if possible – use phone or video conferencing instead

You may be worried about how your workplace is responding to coronavirus. If you are, contact the Health and Safety Authority\’s workplace contact unit. Email or phone 1890 289 389.

If you get symptoms at work

Tell your manager immediately. Your employer will have a process in place. Follow their guidelines and advice.

You will need to:

  • isolate immediately from other staff
  • wear a face covering if one is available
  • keep a distance of least 2 metres from others
  • phone your GP to arrange a test for coronavirus

Go home as soon as it is safe to do so. Self-isolate at home and phone your GP.

Do not use public transport of any kind to go home.

If you cannot go home immediately:

  • remain self-isolating in the building and phone your GP
  • avoid touching people, surfaces and objects
  • cover your mouth and nose with tissues when you cough or sneeze. Bin these tissues in a waste bag

People at higher risk from coronavirus

Work from home if you are at higher risk from coronavirus.

If you cannot work from home, talk to your GP or your employer. Your employer may wish to get occupational health advice. Make sure your employer prioritises social distancing measures for you where possible.

Advice for employers

Employers should follow the Return to Work Safely Protocol (PDF, 570KB, 29 pages).

These guidelines include advice on:

  • preventing the spread of coronavirus in the workplace
  • steps to reduce the risk of coronavirus
  • what to do if an employee shows symptoms of the virus

The Health and Safety Authority (HSA) provides advice for employers and employees on coronavirus prevention measures in the workplace.

Check-lists and templates are available to help employers, business owners and managers prevent the spread of Covid-19 in the workplace.

Contact the HSA by email or phone 1890 289 389.

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