Sherlock’s response to COVID-19
Sherlock’s Response to COVID-19
The COVID- 19 Pandemic has had a profound impact on the Irish Construction and Engineering industry both from an economic and regulatory perspective with many projects delayed or cancelled. As well as this, there have been many changes to regulations within the industry especially on site. Here at Sherlock, the health and safety of our employees has been of utmost importance throughout these uncertain times
Friday March 27th saw the Irish Taoiseach at the time, Leo Varadkar order Ireland into its first lockdown. An email was sent to members of the CIF on Saturday March 28th telling them to begin shut down of all non-essential sites and projects immediately unless the site was directly related to combatting COVID-19.
The majority of the workforce were sent home, many temporarily laid off unsure of when and if they would return to work and placed on the Emergency COVID-19 Pandemic unemployment payment of €350 a week and all money and payments frozen on projects. This saw many of the construction/trades & labour force sent home and put on this emergency payment, including employees in Sherlock. This said there were a portion of our staff bravely working on essential sites across the country on waste management, food processing and student accommodation jobs.
The Construction/Engineering sector was one of the first big industries to reopen on May 18th during phase 1 giving it a head start compared to many sectors in Ireland who had to wait until later phases to reopen. This was great news for everyone here at Sherlock. The CIF released a “Construction Sector C-19 Pandemic Standard Operating Procedures” document detailing all regulatory changes necessary to safely commence work in the Construction and Engineering Industry before phase 1 planned for May 18th. All of Sherlocks on site employees must now complete a mandatory CIF COVID-19 induction before entering a site.
Of course, not all construction/engineering sector work is carried out onsite and so there were regulatory changes to the office side of this industry also. We have seen the government continue to ask that people work from home where possible. Strict adherence to social distancing and a mandatory 2-meter rule must be in place in office spaces. Staggered breaks and “days in/days home” schedules are being seen to limit the interaction of people in the workplace. Unless it is “absolutely necessary”, face to face meetings are not allowed to take place and where possible should be conducted virtually. During our working from home phase we, like many others used the platform “Zoom” to stay in touch.
Our remote meetings via Zoom:
Initially all of our office staff worked from home which was challenging but we as a team worked together and did our best like we always do. Our return to the office was nothing like we left it back in March. We work in accordance with industry/government advice and so only 2 people are allowed in the kitchen at the one time, face coverings are worn by staff, employees are all spaced 2 meters apart and staff work on a rotating office/remote schedule.
Thankfully we have over 6 years of successful business behind us which allowed us to prevail through these uncertain times. Our team is now more flexible, adaptable and stronger than we ever could have imagined compared to pre-COVID times. We are better able to tackle any obstacles that may come our way and are confident in the future of Sherlock Recruitment and the construction/engineering industry.