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Policy on the redeployment of staff

As COVID-19 progresses, we must prepare for potential service demands beyond anything previously experienced by our health services.

Redeployment of employees is one of the core elements of the HSE’s response to COVID-19 infection.

As demand for health services increases, the number of employees available may decrease due to staff being absent because of self-isolation or with a COVID-19 diagnosis.

Cooperation from all employees is required during this outbreak.

The Redeployment of Staff during COVID-19 Infection (PDF, 275KB, 4 pages) policy applies to all HSE employees. This policy has immediate effect. It replaces all previous instructions in operation in the HSE.

Redeployment of staff

Hospital groups, community health organisations, and national directors are being asked to identify and document essential and non-essential activities.

Non-essential services may need to get cancelled or postponed. Employees working in these areas may be redeployed to assist in essential services.

Employees most at risk of contracting COVID-19 in the workplace will be assigned to non-direct contact areas.

This includes staff that are:

  • age 60 years or over
  • diagnosed with a long-term medical condition
  • immune suppressed
  • pregnant

Temporary redeployment – clinical roles

COVID-19 has already had an impact on many of our services.

We are now calling on employees who have clinical skills, and not currently working in clinical roles, to indicate their willingness to return to a clinical role. This is for the duration of the COVID-19 outbreak, if and when required.

All employees who redeploy to clinical roles temporarily will have their current terms and conditions of employment protected. Training and up-skilling will be provided in certain circumstances.

You can give us the relevant information by uploading your data on the staff skills page

This data will be used for local and national planning and response.

HR memo regarding temporary redeployment and clinical roles (PDF, 955KB, 2 pages)

HR Circular 006 2020 Contingency Planning Information Required in Respect of COVID-19 (PDF, 900KB, 3 pages)

HR Circular 006 2020 Contingency Planning Information Required in Respect of COVID-19 (PDF, 900KB, 3 pages)


During COVID-19 infection, redeployed employees will get paid by their usual payroll department.

Alterations to work location or grade

Normal notice requirements will be suspended during the COVID-19 infection.

This includes notice given for:

  • scheduling shift changes
  • changes to hours of work
  • changes to work locations

Redeployment needs will be assessed daily.

Employees may be required to work different hours or in a different location. This will be based on urgency of need.

Work or redeployment refusals will be handled in accordance with the grievance procedure. This outlines the requirement of staff to ‘work under protest’ based on a service imperative.

If a national public health emergency is declared, staffing levels will be examined. Cancellation of annual and discretionary leave may be considered. This will be undertaken by the National Crisis Management Team.

The situation regarding COVID-19 will be changing rapidly. Managers and staff should continue to check the HSE coronavirus web pages.

Line managers should consult their local HR department for advice.

See Policy on Redeployment of Staff during COVID-19 Infection (PDF, 275KB, 4 pages)

Page last reviewed: 11/03/2020
Next review due: 11/03/2023