Irish staff at Indeed told to work from home amid coronavirus concerns

Indeed employs over 1,000 people locally and says staff member may have been exposed

Dublin is Indeed’s second largest global location

Dublin is Indeed’s second largest global location

 

Employees at the Irish offices of online recruiter Indeed have been told to work from home this week due to concerns that a staff member may have been exposed to the coronavirus.

The company, which employs more than 1,000 people locally, said one of its employees in Singapore who visited Dublin recently may have been exposed to the virus.

“Since some employees who visited Singapore have recently visited our Sydney and Dublin offices, we are asking all employees in the Dublin and Sydney offices to work from home until we have received confirmation,” the company said.

“Business continues uninterrupted across the globe,” it added.

It is understood that EY staff who had been working on Indeed’s audit have been asked to work from home for a couple of days as a precautionary measure, while the accounting firm awaits an update from the company.

Indeed said an employee may have been exposed after family members visited a facility caring for a coronavirus patient.

“While the exposure is not direct, we are continuing to monitor the situation with the Singapore employee and their family closely, and will provide updates as and when appropriate,” it said.

Dublin is Indeed’s second-largest global location.

The company opened its first office in Ireland in March 2012 with, according to chief executive Chris Hyams, “three people and a pot plant”.

Last April it announced plans to create an additional 600 jobs in Dublin over the next few years.

The company said it had been in touch with the Health Service Executive (HSE) and would continue to keep local health organisations informed.

Mobile World Congress

The decision by Indeed to request that workers work remotely comes as major companies have started pulling out of the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona due to concerns over coronavirus.

Ericsson, LG, Amazon, Nvidia and Sony have all withdrawn from the event, while others such as ZTE and Huawei have introduced preventative measures that mean Chinese employees will not be attending.

MWC is one of the telecom industry’s biggest gatherings, attracting over 100,000 visitors to Barcelona. An estimated 5,000-6,000 visitors attend the event from China.

GSMA, the organisers of MWC on Sunday said all travellers from the Hubei province, where the coronavirus first emerged, will not be permitted access to this year’s congress.

In addition, all attendees who have been in China recently will have to provide evidence they have not been in the country for 14 days prior to the gathering starting on February 24th.

Enterprise Ireland said it would be hosting the Ireland pavilion at MWC again this year.

“The event is under active and regular review and we will continue to monitor the situation in relation to the coronavirus and its impact on MWC and any other planned trade missions and international business events,” a spokeswoman said.

The head of the World Health Organization, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, warned on Sunday that confirmed cases of the coronavirus could be just the “tip of the iceberg”.

More than 40,000 people have been diagnosed with the coronavirus since it was first detected and over 900 deaths have been reported.

China on Sunday reported 97 new deaths, its largest death toll in a single day.