Covid-19: Continued client service from HOMS Assist

Written by
Robert Bourke on
19 March 2020

The safety and wellbeing of our clients, colleagues and communities is our number one priority at HOMS Assist. We are monitoring information from the relevant authorities and planning appropriately. Our clients are experiencing no disruption in service as our colleagues are working remotely from home.  We update this page regularly with advice for how to work with us during the current situation.
We have set out below several scenarios and some practical guidelines for you about your rights during the current public health crisis.  As matters rapidly progress, you should contact a member of our team with any specific queries:

HOMS Assist from home and the virtual courtroom: 

You can arrange a face-to-face consultation with our solicitors through our secure video conferencing using your mobile phone. 

HOMS Assist has been at the forefront of the Virtual Courtroom evolution. This week, Sean Fitzgerald, Solicitor specialising in personal injury with a particular emphasis on Industrial Accidents and Diseases completed the hearing of a civil action by way of video conferencing which included barristers and witnesses, all while working remotely from home. 

Our team continue to work from home.

Family law updates during COVID-19:

Many parents have encountered difficulties in exercising access to their children.  It is now possible to bring an application to the District Court for a breach of an Order.  

By its very nature, the breakdown of a relationship is distressing.  Empathy must be given to families living "separate and apart" but under the same roof while the world is struggling to deal with the fallout of Covid-19. 

Making a will:

No one enjoys discussing the topic, in these unpredictable times, everyone who has a house, or a pension, or life insurance policy, or a bank/credit union account, financial investments should have a Will to deal with his or her Estate.

Employees during COVID-19:

We look at employers’ duty of care to employees working on the frontline.  

We outline the rights of the employee on the frontline outside of healthcare and what you should discuss with your employer to protect your safety at work.

Working from home does not need to be a pain in the neck during COVID-19. Elaine Carey, Chartered Physiotherapist, provides some guidance for managing pain and stiffness while working from home.  

One of the most worrying statistics emerging from the COVID-19 crisis is that up to 24% of those infected are healthcare workers. Sean Fitzgerald looks are at rights of healthcare staff and the obligations of their employers. 

Many provisions are implemented in Ireland to protect the safety and welfare of workers who are deemed essential. The question remains as to whether the safeguards are sufficient. We compare Ireland’s handling of COVID-19 to China, Singapore, Japan and Iceland.  

A guide on what to do after a road traffic accident:

The Covid-19 crisis presents increased challenges to victims of road traffic accidents. Many services available to people in a stressful time, such as after a road traffic accident, have been disrupted and may not be readily available. HOMS Assist can help if you have a road traffic accident. 

Residential healthcare/nursing homes during Coronavirus:

Deaths connected to residential care facilities account for more than half of all Coronavirus deaths registered to date in Ireland.  We look at the impact of delayed testing on the spread of the virus within nursing homes.  

A fact which is indisputable and has been abundantly clear from the outset is that Covid-19 has a devasting impact on the older members of our society.  Despite this, there has been an apparent lack of cohesion in planning between the Health Service Executive (HSE) and the Nursing Homes Ireland (NHI). 

Medical negligence after COVID-19:

When the dust settles will COVID-19 give rise to medical negligence claims?  We examine the duty of care and the statutory duty to prevent the spread of the virus amongst patients while in hospital.  

Robert Bourke, Partner at HOMS Assist, spoke to the Irish Daily Mail about the potential fallout from the COVID-19 crisis.