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As the ‘work safe, work smart’ order takes effect Monday (June 1), Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness, is encouraging employers to make allowances for certain categories of employees to continue working from home.

These include persons with weakened immune systems, those with children and those who have a sick elderly person in their care.

Those employees are encouraged to dialogue or negotiate with their employers for the necessary arrangements to be put in place to allow them to work from home.

Under the new order, which will be in effect from June 1 to 30, employees who have been working from home are being allowed to return to work. It replaces the work-from-home order, which became effective on March 18 and expired on May 31.

The measure, implemented as part of steps to contain the risk of coronavirus (COVID-19) transmission, required all non-essential employees across government and the private sector to work from home.

Speaking at a virtual press briefing at the Office of the Prime Minister Media Centre on Sunday (May 31), Mr. Holness said that “while we are encouraging persons to go back to their place of work we acknowledge that this may not be practical or feasible in all cases”.

He noted, for example, that persons who are immune-compromised with underlying illnesses may be allowed to continue in a work-from-home arrangement.

“Such persons may be required to present a medical certificate, indicating that they are not fit at this time to work in an environment of general access that may expose them to increased risk during the coronavirus pandemic,” he said.

“Persons who have no other suitable arrangements to care for their children at home if they were to go to work, they can negotiate with their employers and we expect that their employers will make the necessary provisions and arrangements,” he added.

Similarly, Mr. Holness said that persons who have ailing family members and cannot find suitable care for them are to be considered for the continued work-from-home arrangement.

“We expect that their employers will make the necessary provisions and arrangements,” the Prime Minister said.

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