Contractors and farmers move on ‘essential worker’ letters

Organisations representing agricultural contractors and farmers have moved to provide templates for their members on the issues of carrying identification and letters for employees to confirm their status as “essential service” workers.

In light of strict new Government restrictions aimed at limiting the spread of Covid-19, the public has been told not to go to work until April 12 – unless that work is deemed to be “an essential service”.

Agricultural workers have been deemed “essential workers” under the latest Government listing, revealed on Saturday, March 28.

Reacting to this, the Association of Farm and Forestry Contractors in Ireland (FCI) has issued a statement assuring its members that the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine has confirmed that contractors can continue to work this week.

In order to prevent unnecessary stoppages on public roads, as you carry out these essential farming activities, we have attached a suggested tractor cab window/door notice, which we suggest you might print before machines leave your yard.

The FCI’s statement advises contractors to put up a notice on each of their cabs in the short-term “until we secure supplies of more durable stickers and more precise information from both the Garda Síochána and the Department of Agriculture”.

The contractor representative group issued its notice template as seen below:

The association has urged members who may have queries in relation to their membership numbers or other issues to get in touch.

Meanwhile, over the weekend, the Irish Farmers’ Association (IFA) also developed a template of a letter which farmers can issue to their farm employees to confirm their work status, and so allow them to travel to and from work.

Taking to social media yesterday, Sunday, March 29, the IFA provided a screenshot of the letter template.

The association added that the template in full can be downloaded from the IFA website.