On February 18th, 2021, the Northern Ireland Executive confirmed its decision to extend the current COVID-19 restrictions until April 1st. The next review of the restrictions will take place on March 18th.
There was some good news as more retailers will be permitted to open contactless click and collect services from Monday, March 8th. Baby equipment shops, clothing shops, footwear shops and electrical goods shops will all be permitted to trade using the Three Step Arrangement for contactless click and collect.
A phased return to school will also begin on March 8th with pre-school and nursery children resuming face-to-face school for two weeks. These children will then return to remote learning from March 22nd until the Easter break as students doing qualifications like GCSEs will return to face-to-face teaching from March 22nd.
This tentative return to school will likely mean that some employees will continue to find it difficult to balance childcare and work responsibilities. Employers can expect to receive an increase in flexible working requests to facilitate such working parents.
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