Covid-19: Teachers may be redeployed outside education sector

School managers receive guidance on potential of staff to work in wider public service

The circular to school managers said  any employee not needed  in educational services “will, therefore, be available to be assigned on a temporary basis to support delivery of other essential public services.” Photograph: Getty Images

The circular to school managers said any employee not needed in educational services “will, therefore, be available to be assigned on a temporary basis to support delivery of other essential public services.” Photograph: Getty Images

 

Teachers may be redeployed to work outside the education sector as part of the Government’s efforts to deal with coronavirus.

In a circular to school managers on March 27th, the Department of Education said under overall Government guidance all public servants who were not medically advised to self-isolate “must be available to carry out work either to deliver services within their own sector [as a priority] or for temporary assignment within the wider public service. Employers will be asked to determine which of their employees will provide educational services to their pupils.”

The circular also noted that “any employee who is not required to be retained in providing educational services will, therefore, be available to be assigned on a temporary basis to support delivery of other essential public services.

“This temporary assignment will be managed on a structured, centralised basis through this Department and the Public Appointments Service. Further details on the practical arrangements for this will be advised to employers shortly.”

On March 23rd, the trade union Fórsa said it had been advised that special needs assistants could be redeployed, most likely to the Health Service Executive’s contact tracing service for those potentially affected by coronavirus.

On March 27th, the Department of Public Expenditure issued overall guidelines to the public service. These indicated that where there were limited opportunities for remote working in an employee’s current role, organisations should seek to identify any staff suitable to be redeployed under the Government’s temporary assignment scheme to apply during the coronavirus pandemic.