Minister Patrick O’Donovan visits Cork to discuss Flood Relief Delays

We were pleased to meet with Minister of State Patrick O'Donovan with responsibility for the Office of Public Works (OPW)   during his visit to Cork city on Wednesday last, where he met with the Lord Mayor, the CEO of Cork City Council, and with representatives of the Cork Business Association (CBA) and Cork Chamber to discuss progress on the Lower Lee Flood Relief Scheme (LLFRS).

He also visited Morrison’s Island, where the scheme's main opponents, have mounted a legal challenge in the form of a judicial review against a €6.5m public realm upgrade which includes flood defences.

We were encouraged by the Minister's forthright comments in support of the scheme when he said ''We can have all the judicial reviews and all of the appeals and all of the re-examinations and reviews in the world — it doesn’t change the fact that this city is in a very vulnerable situation at the moment and it needs to be protected''   further commenting he said '' Delays, he said, adding to the cost, increase the risk to people, property and businesses, and threaten Cork's reputation as a city in which to live and invest.  

The Cork Business Association has been seeking flood defences for Cork city for over twenty years. The existing plans have been developed and significantly improved upon since the initial version. This has come about by the active and positive engagement by key stakeholders. However, as the Minister aptly commented ''there also has to be an endgame. And the endgame has to come at some stage soon," he said.

"Businesses have a right to trade in an environment where they are not going to be flooded".

Many businesses in Cork city are working incredibly hard to stay open and trading in these very challenging and uncertain times. The last thing they need is another flooding episode, which we nearly had as recently as August 20th last. Remember as well many of these businesses don't have and can't get flood insurance. The Cork Business Association fully endorse the Ministers comments that  “The sooner we can put boots on the ground and deliver it the better.”   

Commenting Lawrence Owens Chief Executive of the CBA said

 ''It is deeply frustrating that we are still talking about a flood defence scheme for Cork as opposed to actually constructing one. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion on the scheme but not to their own facts. The Morrison's Island Flood defence scheme and Public Realm upgrade has the capacity not alone to provide flood defences but to transform the commercial life of this area and to dramatically improve the public realm."

 

 

 

 

You can watch a video about that explains the Scheme here:

https://www.corkcity.ie/en/council-services/news-room/latest-news/update-on-morrison-s-island-public-realm-and-flood-defence-project.html?searchTermId=18092

 

You will find the complete Plan here:

https://www.corkcity.ie/en/council-services/services/environment/flood-management/morrisons-island-public-realm-and-flood-defence-project.html?searchTermId=18096

 

 

Pop your Cork in the Dean!

To celebrate their opening December 2020, The Dean Cork have announced the following special offers:

Offer 1: Hello Cork/Pop your Cork

Rates from €170 total mid-week / €200 total weekend

 

Say Hello to Ireland’s real capital from The Dean Cork, a brand-new slice of boutique bliss in the heart of the city.

 

Big bouncy beds, bespoke rooms that will make you smile, and a roof-top restaurant with a view like no other. Be the first to experience all that The Dean Cork has to offer with this sweet opening deal, only available for a limited time.

Here’s the scoop. Stay with us for one night, and we’ll give you a €25.00 voucher to spend as you wish. Stay two nights, make that a €50.00 voucher from us.

 

What’s more, your stay comes complete with a la carte breakfast, to be enjoyed whilst soaking in the views from Sophie’s Rooftop Restaurant.

 

Pop your Cork! Be within the first 200 to book this offer and we’ll throw in a free bottle of bubbly in your room on arrival.

 

Details:

  • Stay from 1st December – 28th February.
  • 1-night stay gets €25.00 Voucher.
  • 2 + nights' stay gets €50.00 Voucher.
  • Welcome Bottle of Bubbly in room on arrival. (Pop your Cork for Cork - first 200 bookings only).

T+C's

  • Based on 2 guests staying on Bed and Breakfast Price.
  • Pay on arrival. Rates from €90 pps.
  • Flexible 24 hours prior to arrival cancellation.
  • The voucher is given on check-in.

 

Offer 2: The Dean Swings into Cork  

Rates from €350 total based on 2 nights. mid-week stays only (Sun to Thurs).

 

Swing into some southern charm with this delightful two-night deal in Cork’s brand-new hotspot.

 

Eat, drink and be merry with an early check-in, a winter warmer drink on arrival, a daily cooked to order breakfast, and a 3-course dinner with a bottle of wine on an evening of your choice, enjoyed whilst dazzling in the city lights from Sophie’s Rooftop Restaurant. Yum.

 

 

The next day you can take it cruisy with a lazy check out until 1pm.

 

Details:

Early Check In (1 PM)

Min 2 nights stay from December - February.

Winter Drink on Arrival.

Cooked to Order Breakfast Each Morning.

3 Course Dinner in Sophie's with 1 Bottle of House Wine. (on an evening of choice).

Lazy Check Out. (1 PM)

 

T+C's:

Based on 2 guests staying for 2 nights.

Pay on arrival.

Flexible 24 hours prior to arrival cancellation.

Dinner booked in advance with Bookcork@Sophies.ie

Room Types. Supers.

 

*The hotel will be accepting bookings from December 8th  – see www.deancork.ie for booking details, or email corkres@thedean.ie for rooms / weddings and events.

 

*For Sophie’s Restaurant bookings, email bookcork@sophies.ie

For further information, follow @thedeanireland on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter

Voluntary and Compulsory Redundancy

 

We prefer to stay positive as much as we can, but sometimes we have to be realistic and find ourselves forced to make difficult decisions.

If you are preparing redundancies here are the basic things you need to know provided by Peninsula. If you want to read Peninsula's tips on how to cut costs without letting your staff go, you can read them on page 12 of CBA's very own glossy: The Cork Connected.

Voluntary and Compulsory Redundancy

Redundancy generally occurs when you restructure your business and you need to reduce your employment numbers as a result. If you're closing your business, you'll also likely need to make employees redundant before ceasing operations.

This guide explains what you need to do.

What is the difference between voluntary and compulsory redundancy?

If an employee volunteers to take a redundancy package, that's voluntary redundancy. But if you select employees for redundancy, this is sometimes referred to as compulsory redundancy.

Voluntary redundancy

It's the term used to describe a situation when you ask employees to volunteer for redundancy to reduce the size of your workforce. Employees who agree to volunteer for redundancy can claim a statutory redundancy payment. That's provided they fulfil continuous reckonable service requirements plus any additional pay incentive you might offer.

Finding volunteers for redundancy

Depending on your circumstances, you may be in a position to offer a voluntary redundancy pay incentive to encourage employees to volunteer for redundancy. If you’re not offering a voluntary redundancy package, you must still comply with redundancy laws.

This means you must provide a minimum redundancy payment to employees who have completed a period of continuous service with your business.

What’s a voluntary redundancy package?

To encourage employees to volunteer for redundancy, employers typically put together a voluntary redundancy package which includes an additional ex-gratia payment on top of the employee’s entitlement to receive a statutory redundancy payment.

Can voluntary redundancy be refused?

If you offer employees a voluntary redundancy package and they refuse to accept the proposed payment, you can still make compulsory redundancies at a later stage.

Employees risk losing the additional ex-gratia payment as part of the voluntary redundancy package if they refuse the offer. However, they can still claim their entitlement to statutory redundancy pay.

Compulsory redundancy

If you're not offering a voluntary redundancy package, carrying out a redundancy process under the Redundancy Payments Acts 1967 - 2014 is sometimes referred to as compulsory redundancy.

To ensure the process complies with redundancy legislation, you must be able to demonstrate the following:

  • There’s a genuine need for the redundancies.
  • You applied a fair and transparent selection policy in selecting employees for redundancy.
  • The consultation process leading up to completion of the redundancies is fair.
  • Employees selected receive their statutory redundancy pay.

 

 

Peninsula’s webinar covers how to manage redundancy
Date: September 30th Time: 2pm

Register for the Webinar

 

Cork Airport needs national support!

Cork Airport Exterior

Cork Airport is of vital importance to the economy of Cork, both city and county. Not only for the tourism sector. A weaker accessibility would also be a reason for potential international investors to look elsewhere. The CBA strongly encourages the government to step in and support our airport and Ryanair to reconsider closing their Cork Airport base.

Several directors of the Cork Business Association have worked together with Cork Airport management for years and promoted and encouraged an increase in flights and traffic.

It took years and huge investments in time and money to build it up, we cannot let it be negatively affected this easily. If some of these routes are lost, it will take a while to get them back. If landing slots are found somewhere else, it is not guaranteed that they will return to Cork immediately after travel restrictions are lifted.

 

From a tourism and hospitality perspective, we cannot emphasis enough how critical is it that Cork Airport would be assisted in getting back to a reasonable level of business operations. The sheer magnitude felt by our industry as a direct result of the reduced operations within Cork Airport cannot, and must not be understated. Our industry’s survival is heavily dependent on the International tourist market for leisure guests, and even more so for our International corporate guests and conferencing business.

Trigon Hotels have 2 hotels located in the Cork Airport business park and as it currently stands, the Cork Airport Hotel is still closed with no definitive date of re-opening. This is as a direct result of the reduction of services at Cork Airport.

It is imperative that the Government acknowledges that Cork Airport directly and indirectly supports 12,180 jobs and contributes €904 million annually to the economy across the South of Ireland. With COVID-19 expected to reduce traffic by nearly 75% this year, the knock-on effects to the tourism, hospitality and aviation sectors are self-evident.

If Cork Airport are not provided with the assistance needed to open up the airways, the knock on effects from a financial perspective will be truly catastrophic and detrimental.

I would appeal to our Government to ensure that they have given this issue due consideration and ensure that Cork Airport is provided with the assistance and support needed to restore confidence in air travel to and from Ireland.

Aaron Mansworth

Aaron is Managing Director of the Trigon Hotel Group, Management Comittee member of the Irish Hotel Federation Cork and a valued member of the Cork Business Association executive committee

 

 

Management at Cork Airport has called a series of private briefings for Cork Oireachtas members on Monday the 14th of September to outline the scale of the threat it faces as a result of the COVID19 pandemic and in the wake of Ryanair’s threat to close its base
in Cork this winter unless the Government relaxes its quarantine restrictions on passengers flying into the country. If the threat is realised, 35 pilots and 95 cabin crew would be forced to take unpaid leave from the end of October.

 

The move would virtually wipe out Cork Airport’s already decimated passenger traffic which has plunged 95% during lockdown. Ryanair accounted for around 80% of the airport’s traffic during the coronavirus crisis — overtaking Aer Lingus
as the airport’s largest airline for the first time in the airport’s 59-year history last year.

 

“Cork Airport remained open throughout COVID 19 providing cover for vital air services to assist with the repatriation of Irish citizens stranded overseas and to make sure supply chains were maintained for the import and export of key supplies”,
according to Niall MacCarthy, Managing Director, Cork Airport. “The airport also played a key role in multiple Search and Rescue missions, Air Corps and Garda operations and Medical Evacuations,” he added.

 

“COVID-19 has had a catastrophic impact on Cork Airport’s finances. Passenger numbers have fallen by over 95% during lockdown compared to same period last year and are currently down by 86% compared to the same month last year. Our traffic
is not expected to recover to 2019 levels until 2024. The impact of COVID-19 on Cork Airport is expected to be the loss of over 2 million passengers this year and more than €23 million in lost revenues by year end,” said Niall MacCarthy.

 

“Cork Airport directly and indirectly supports 12,180 jobs and contributes €904 million annually to the economy across the South of Ireland. With COVID-19 expected to reduce traffic by nearly 75% this year, the knock-on effects to the tourism,
aviation and supply chain sectors are self-evident. Investment support for Cork Airport will be required and will assist and provide an excellent return on investment in terms of economic impact on the Cork and Munster economy,” MacCarthy added.

 

“Cork Airport faces some very significant capital investment costs of over €70m over the next 5 years. This programme is key to enabling the continued operations of Cork Airport including compliance expenditure on our Hold Baggage Screening
system and critical and necessary renewal costs for a runway overlay.

 

“We look forward with the appropriate policy and Government financial supports to returning our business to previous levels and again becoming a key economic enabler for tourism and inward investment across the south of Ireland, but first,
we believe, the Irish Government must map out a pathway to restore confidence in air travel to and from Ireland”.

Kevin Cullinane, Cork Airport

 

Cork Airport Logo

 

Despite the challenges Cork Airport continues to provide it's passengers with the best possible service and received international accreditation for Covid-19 health measures.

Read more here

 

In the meantime there is still no clarity on where Irish people can travel and more important for business that people from other countries can travel to Ireland without having to quarantine.

read more here

 

 

Resilience and Recovery 2020-2021: Plan for Living with COVID 19

The Government has published ‘Resilience and Recovery 2020 – 2021: Plan for Living with COVID-19’. This plan replaces the previous Roadmap for Reopening Society and Business. The Plan is a framework for managing COVID-19 over the next 6 months.

The plan sets out 5 levels that correspond to the severity of COVID-19 in a location. It is possible for different levels to be in place in different locations in the country. You can find out more about how the level in each location is decided.

Ireland is currently at Level 2. However, extra restrictions are in place in Dublin.

Level 5 is for locations where COVID-19 is most severe and means that restrictions on the activities of people and businesses are at their highest level. Level 1 is for locations where COVID-19 is the least severe and means that restrictions on the activities of people and businesses are at their lowest level.

 

Level 2

You can have visitors to your home from one other household only, or up to 6 visitors to your home from up to 3 other households. You can meet socially outdoors in groups of up to 15 people from up to 3 households.

You should continue to work from home if possible. You can go to work if for essential on-site meetings, inductions and training.

People over 70 and people who are medically vulnerable should avoid public transport, shop during designated hours and limit their interactions to a small number of people. Read more about cocooning.

Apart from protective measures that apply to individual sectors, there are no restrictions on:

  • Travel within Ireland
  • Schools and childcare services (protective measures must remain in place)
  • Outdoor play areas

Nursing and care homes should follow advanced protective measures.

Public transport can operate with reduced capacity.

 

Weddings, organised events and culture

Up to 50 people can go to a wedding.

Up to 100 people can go to organised indoor events (including sporting events), or up to 200 in larger venues. Specific guidance will be developed for individual sectors.

Up to 200 can go to organised outdoor events (including sporting events), or up to 500 can go to outdoor stadiums with a minimum capacity of 5000. For very large stadiums and outdoor venues, specific guidance will be developed by individual sectors.

Museums, galleries and other cultural attractions can open with social distancing in place. Maximum numbers depend on the size of the venue.

 

Gyms, leisure centres and swimming pools

Normal sports training sessions can take place and gyms, leisure centres and swimming pools can open with protective measures.

 

Religous services and funerals

Up to 50 can go to religious services, including funerals. If the premises can safely hold more than 50, this may be permitted if protective measures are in place.

 

Retail and business

Bars, cafes, hotels and restaurants can open with protective measures in place. Groups should be limited to 6 people from no more than 3 households. This includes wet pubs, pubs that do not serve food. Nightclubs, casinos and discos will remain closed.

Shops can open, along with hairdressers, beauticians and barbers. Face coverings must be worn.

source: https://www.citizensinformation.ie/en/covid19/living_with_covid19_plan.html

 

chart new guidelines

Image: Irish Times

Focus Ireland and Bord Gáis Energy calls on the people of Cork to sleep-out in the fight against homelessness   

 

This year’s Shine A Light Night is calling on people all over Cork and nationwide to sleep out for one night and raise funds to help Focus Ireland’s vital services as the number of homeless adults in Cork stands at 372. Focus Ireland is proud to continue its partnership with Bord Gáis Energy who will again sponsor the charity’s flagship fundraising campaign.  

 

On the night of October 16th, as well as asking business leaders to sleep out again on Cork’s historic Spike Island to help the cause, Focus Ireland want individuals to sign up and sleep out in their gardens or homes to help raise crucial funds. As always, since the event began in 2015, companies around Cork can also sign up to support the initiative by pledging to fundraise and sleep out at their workplace.   

 

Safety is paramount and in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, Focus Ireland is working to ensure the safety of all participants and staff. The charity is prepared to host a fully virtual Shine a Light Night should government guidelines suggest doing so.

 

Focus Ireland and Bord Gáis Energy are aiming to raise €1.3 million in 2020 to support people experiencing homelessness in Cork and across the country.  

 

Speaking at the event, Ger Spillane, head of Focus Ireland services for the Mid and South West region said: “Focus Ireland works tirelessly with people in Cork experiencing homelessness to help them secure their home or to ensure they leave homelessness for good. We also work extensively across the area of prevention to make sure many other families and individuals never become homeless in the first place.   

 

“In the coming months ahead, the support of organisations such as Bord Gáis Energy is crucial to make a success of fundraising events like Shine A Light Night which will raise vital funds for our services across the country.”  

 

To date, Shine A Light Night has raised over €5.3m for people experiencing homelessness in Ireland. In 2019, this support enabled Focus Ireland to help over 14,200 people.  

 

Commenting at the launch of Shine a Light in Cobh, Nico O Rourke, Director of Assets & Trading at, Bord Gáis Energy said: “Looking back following a challenging few months, Bord Gáis Energy has never been prouder of our partnership with Focus Ireland. The team in Focus Ireland in Cork worked in very difficult circumstances to help 12 households into long-term homes in March, April, May and June as well as support some of the most vulnerable people in our society daily. We are as committed as ever in supporting Focus Ireland to help end homelessness and increase support for those who are on the brink of losing their home.  

 

 

“We will be sleeping out on Shine A Light Night and we are asking every one of you across Ireland; businesses, families and individuals to join us this October in giving just one night to sleep out in your gardens, living rooms, workplace or at an organised sleep out in solidarity with people who face homelessness every day”  

 

For further information contact Dick White, Cork Area Fundraising and Marketing Executive for Focus Ireland on 086 8223690 or at dick.white@focusireland.ie.  

To register to participate in Shine A Light Night 2020 visit www.focusireland.ie/shinealight   

 

Office Risk Assessment template COVID-19 & what to expect from Workplace Inspections

 

If your workplace is an office, it’s a legal requirement for you to hold an office-based risk assessment. However, during the coronavirus pandemic the situation is a bit different.

Although you should regularly assess your risk assessment for office work, it’s good business practice to create another to help manage the risk of infection.

An office safety risk assessment—the basics

The following approach is ideally suited for small businesses. Your office risk assessment for COVID-19 ultimately aims to:

  • Identify hazards and risks that the new biological hazard poses in your building.
  • Put in place control measures to limit the risk of infection.

Remember, you can’t completely remove the threat of this virus. But you can use procedures that will alleviate the risk of it spreading.

Overview of an office risk assessment

Along with the template, understanding a basic office risk assessment checklist provides the basis for your workplace inspection. You should look to identify the following:

  • The potential risk of infection across your business.
  • Areas around your office that often become busy, such as the canteen, bathrooms, entrance and exit areas.
  • Specific areas where social distancing may prove difficult.
  • How you can manage customers and/or visitors arriving at your office.
  • Hygiene standards.
  • The use of office equipment, including computers, printers, and photocopiers.

How to use this template

To access this free office risk assessment template, click on the download icon on this page.

As an office risk assessment example, it demonstrates the steps you need to take as you carry out an inspection.

Remember you should modify this template to use for your business’ specific requirements and seek professional health & safety advice before reopening your office.

It’s an office risk assessment form for COVID-19. So, your designated assessor will review the working environment and make notes.

Once the assessment is over, you can take steps to put in place control management procedures.

Ultimately, the purpose of this office risk assessment template for coronavirus is to demonstrate the approach your business can take to manage the hazards you identify.

But, crucially, you should act on your findings to make your workplace safe.

 

Download the template: https://www.peninsulagrouplimited.com/ie/free-downloads/office-risk-assessment-template-form/

 

Upcoming Webinar : COVID-19 Workplace Inspections – What To Expect

Date: Wednesday 9th September 2020
Time: 11:00am

You’re invited to our complimentary webinar on COVID-19 Workplace Inspections: What to Expect.

This webinar will cover a range of crucial business considerations, including:

  • Who is the HSA?
  • What to expect from a HSA inspection
  • Key questions asked by an inspector during a workplace inspection
  • Consequences of failure to comply with the Protocol
  • What you need to do now
This webinar will show you how to prepare for an inspection and give you the peace of mind to carry on doing what you do best, making your business a success.
Register for the webinar
Peninsula Logo

State action on Covid19-related business interruption claims ‘invisible’

Alliance echoes call of lone horseman for ‘complete reform of insurance
State action on Covid19-related business interruption claims ‘invisible’

 

As horseman Sean Kilkenny continues his insurance protest trek from County Clare to Leinster House with his coach and horses, the Alliance for Insurance Reform has expressed intense frustration at ongoing delays in action on insurance.

 

 

Linda Murray, Director of the Alliance and owner of Huckleberry’s Den play centre in Navan said “We completely sympathise with Sean on the loss of his livelihood and echo his call for ‘complete reform of insurance in Ireland’.

“SMEs, community and voluntary groups are dealing with the results of that lack of reform every day, through unsustainable insurance costs and fear for the future of their organisation as the insurance crisis hampers their recovery from the pandemic.”

Michael Magner, Chair of the Alliance’s Covid19 Working Group and owner of Cork’s Vienna Woods Hotel said "The Covid19 pandemic has thrown up multiple issues with regard to insurance and the State response on business interruption (BI) claims in particular has been invisible. The Alliance wrote to the Governor of the Central Bank on the 23rd March urging him to take action that would “quickly turn a blanket ban (by insurers on covering any Covid19-related BI claims) into a sensible resolution of the problem.” To date, all we have seen from the Central Bank is a number of public pronouncements, but no solid action.

“Equally, our June 8th request to the Financial Services and Pensions Ombudsman that he “put in place an emergency fast track process leading to a legally binding decision for the business interruption related complaints your office has already received, in order to provide some guidance to the many businesses faced with BI refusals” has gone unanswered.

“Small businesses and community enterprises waiting for clarification on their business interruption claims cannot wait for months or even years for a clear decision. Following standard operating procedures is not enough in this crisis. We urge the Central Bank Governor and the Ombudsman to move swiftly to get clarity on who is covered by BI insurance and to what extent.”

Peter Boland, Director of the Alliance said " If the Government is expecting the economy to recover through SMEs and for society to recover through community and voluntary groups, insurance reform needs to be resolved this year. While the pandemic has made matters even worse for policyholders, the fundamentals that must be addressed have not changed.

“Unfair general damages must be cut to reflect international norms and ensure that legitimate minor injuries attract modest damages. The Alliance expects general damages for minor injuries to be dramatically reduced along the lines of the Fair Book of Quantum published by ISME.

“The ‘common duty of care’ must be urgently reviewed and re-balanced so that occupiers are required to take a duty of care that is reasonable, practical and proportionate but not absolute, ignoring personal responsibility.

“A fully resourced, dedicated Garda Insurance Fraud Unit must be established. “And Government must insist on insurers committing to a schedule of reductions on delivery of the key reforms being progressed. “Finally, we call again on Government to reinstate the Cabinet subcommittee on insurance reform dropped at the last minute from the final Programme for Government document. With all relevant Ministers and civil servants to be actively involved, this committee is essential to coordinate action and ensure the necessary reforms are put in place urgently.”

For further information contact: contact@insurancereform.ie

Our City, Our Future 

Learning from International Experience Webinar

 

Cork City Council has started the process of preparation of the City Development Plan.  A vitally important document that will form the backbone of  the near future of Cork City. The first phase of consultation is open until 21st August.

To get some international expertise on the subject of city planning, Cork City Council is hosting a webinar Thursday the 23rd of July at 7 pm.

The intention is to bring an international perspective to the conversation, with insights from Professor Wulf Daseking of Freiburg, a city in Germany of similar size to Cork and Andreas Markedes an internationally renowned transport planner.

Go to Eventbrite to register.