Employers are moving to cut staffing levels following the cancellation of St Patrick’s Day parades around Ireland, says a leading employment law advice consultant.

The five days of events nationwide was projected to generate more than €73 million in revenue in the Republic of Ireland. Around half a million people attended events last year, with thousands traveling from overseas during the key week for the Irish tourism industry.

HR Team Director, Martina McAuley, says employers are moving to safeguard their businesses in light of the blow:

“As a result of the St Patrick’s Day parade cancellations employers are considering whether they require as many staff or have to reduce employees’ working hours. There are no statutory employee rights to pay in these cases, unless it is written into a contract of employment.

“Employers can consider introducing short-time working. This is when an employee is placed on a reduced working week or they may be laid off altogether. Both of these measures are a temporary solution open to employers when there is a downturn in business,” adds Ms McAuley.

The impacts for organisations

The hospitality industry is down approximately 80%. While the tourism industry has had bookings significantly decrease as people are reluctant to travel. Smaller businesses could be gravely affected as a result of this.

Irish hotel operator Dalata claimed it has seen a “significant reduction in bookings” and “a sharp increase in cancellations” over the past month.

In 2001, the economic and social costs were significant as St Patrick’s Day was cancelled to reduce the spread of foot and mouth disease. People were expressly discouraged from travelling. Irish Continental Group (a transport and shipping) suffered a 9.4% fall in car volumes on the Irish Sea.

In light of the intensifying spread of coronavirus throughout Ireland in recent days, there are fears employers will suffer even greater losses as a result of cancellations.

If you have concerns about the impacts Coronavirus could have on your organisation or for more advice, contact us today.

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