The Government has issued new recommendations to the public on the use of “face coverings” in public spaces “where it is difficult to practice social distancing, for example, in shops or on busy public transport”. The full guidelines are available to view here. When it comes to how this advice affects retail staff, it is clear that wearing face coverings is not mandatory in occupational settings.
RGDATA Director General Tara Buckley has been in contact with leading politicians engaged in the consultations to form a new Government explaining why local independent shopkeepers have a serious contribution to make in our efforts to reboot the economy. Click here to read the RGDATA message.
RGDATA Director General Tara Buckley is representing independent retailers on the Government’s Waste Advisory Group on conference call meetings over the past 8 weeks. The zoom meeting on 20 May will address the Circular Economy and members will discuss Waste Actions in a Circular Economy and the answers to the questions including:
- What are the top 3 waste management policy initiatives required to support a transition to a Circular Economy in Ireland?
- How do we ensure that the Circular Economy is embedded into economic recovery in a post-Covid-19 context?
- What are the costs/benefits of introducing national performance targets for food waste?
- What undertakings can business sectors such as food retailers, manufacturers and food producers offer to promote circular economy practices?
- Is there a role for a further extension of Extended Producer Responsibility schemes across products such as textiles, food and building materials?
- What are the areas with greatest potential for transformation in Ireland under the Circular Economy?
RGDATA has queried the statement made in the Government’s Covid 19 briefing on 21 April about supermarket owners “showing common sense” about permitting family groups into stores. The comment about “family groups” being permitted under the guidance and using “common sense” are causing a lot of concern amongst independent supermarket owners who have been working tirelessly over the past few weeks to do their best to deliver essential convenience/food services to their customers whilst complying with all the best advice from the CMO; HSE and NSAI.
Read the email issued to Minister Heather Humphreys here.
RGDATA member Eugene Scally talks about the challenges of dealing with abusive customers on RTE Radio News at 1 on Monday after his comments went viral on Twitter. Listen back here.
The generous terms provided with no rigorous checking on whether COVID-19 claimants were previously employed or made involuntarily redundant, have created a financial incentive to leave work according to Davy Stockbrokers chief economist, Conall MacCoille's report. This echos the concerns raised by RGDATA in meetings with Minister Humphreys and the DBEI that some part-time and low-paid staff were not working because they could earn more from the Covid-19 pandemic unemployment payment. Click here for the Davy report.
RGDATA issued policy asks to all the political parties prior to the election earlier this year and a number of those have been included in the Fianna Fail/Fine Gael document and the Green Party’s statement as the negotiations for a new Government continue. These asks include commitments to tackle unsustainable insurance costs and the adoption of a Town Centre First policy.
Enterprise Ireland will open the DBEI scheme on April 29 2020 to support retail companies to enhance their digital capability in response to the Covid-19 crisis.
Applicants must be an Irish-owned retail enterprise that had 10 or more employees on or before 29 February 2020, derive their primary income from an existing retail outlet/s and have an existing online presence.
Click here for details.
Independent shops support waste management reform but it must deliver tangible results not increased costs and red tape burden: RGDATA
RGDATA Director General Tara Buckley told the Waste Management Advisory Group conference call on Food Waste Management that consumers currently wanted loose goods to be packaged due to Covid-19 concerns.
Independent retailers are very keen supporters of measures to reduce single use plastic and unnecessary food packaging but Covid-19 is making consumers revert back to purchasing packaged fruit and vegetable and baked goods. Buckley said that measures to encourage more recycling and less food waste should be about incentivising behaviour and not about adding costs or more red tape. The Advisory Group is assisting with the development of climate action and waste management policy in a circular economy.
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