Return to Work Safely Protocol and the Phased Re-opening of Public Bars – Message From John Douglas Mandate General Secretary

Thursday 25 June 2020

Dear Member

As you are aware, the lock-down restrictions have had a devastating impact on the licensed bar sector, but there is now some light emerging as the Government eases up on restrictions and brings forward re-opening phases to various sectors of the economy.

The number one consideration of any easing of restrictions must be the safety of staff and the general public and we must all be guided by the medical advice of the day.

As it currently stands, bars which serve a substantial meal (€9) may open for bookings on Monday 29 June 2020, and all other bars (wet bars) can re-open on 20 July 2020. These re-openings will be difficult and there are many limitations and obligations on publicans, staff and the public alike. I refer you to the Fáilte Ireland Guidelines for re-opening pubs June 2020. Please follow the link here and familiarise yourself with both your obligations and those of your employer and the public. When you return to work please ensure that all the measures outlined in these guidelines are followed. There can be no doubt that the return will be difficult and that bar staff will be under pressure and the working environment will be very different for the foreseeable future.

Should you encounter any difficulties with the implementation of the guidelines, please contact Mandate head office as soon as possible (01 – 8746321). The Health and Safety Authority (Lo-call 1890 289 389 or on has been given extra resources and they will be carrying out compliance inspections on premises. Social distancing for staff and customers and hygiene will be very important. Training in new work methods and procedures will be necessary for all concerned.

It is Mandate’s position that all employees should commence work on the same terms and conditions enjoyed prior to lockdown, if there is a discussion to be had with your employer, then you should contact union head office for advice on these discussions.

There can be little doubt that it will take the Licensed Sector some time to fully recover and we will support employers who genuinely engage with staff/union to ensure that all concerned can get back to “normal” as soon as possible.

As you are aware, we suspended all union payments for the period of lockdown and we will reactivate these again on 20 July 2020. At this time it is important that bar workers organise and come together to protect their jobs and conditions, please ensure that all workers in your pub are union members, and when talking to other bar workers from other pubs, please inform them that they also should come together and support decent jobs and a decent future for workers – join online on

 Yours fraternally

John Douglas

Mandate General Secretary