Health (Preservation and Protection and other Emergency Measures in the Public Interest) Act 2020

5.

Amendment of section 40 of Act of 2005

5. Section 40 of the Act of 2005 is amended—

(a) in subsection (1), by the substitution of the following paragraph for paragraph (b):

“(b) he or she satisfies the contribution conditions in section 41 or such conditions as may be prescribed in accordance with regulations under section 40A.”,

and

(b) by the insertion of the following subsections after subsection (6):

“(7) Subject to subsection (8), this subsection applies to a person who is incapable of work, or is deemed to be incapable of work, by virtue of—

(a) being certified in the prescribed manner by a registered medical practitioner as being a person—

(i) who is diagnosed with Covid-19, or

(ii) who is a probable source of infection of Covid-19,

(b) having been notified, in the prescribed manner, by a medical officer of health or such other person as may be prescribed, that he or she is a probable source of infection of Covid-19,

(c) being deemed, in accordance with regulations under section 40A, to be a probable source of infection of Covid-19, or

(d) being a person in respect of whom an order under section 38A(1) of the Health Act 1947 is in force.

(8) Notwithstanding subsection (7), the Minister may prescribe a category or categories of persons who, by virtue of the terms and conditions (expressed or implied) of their contract of employment, shall not be entitled to illness benefit in respect of absences from employment arising from their being a person to whom subsection (7) applies.

(9) Notwithstanding subsection (2), a person to whom subsection (7) applies shall be entitled to illness benefit on and from the first day of any period of incapacity, or deemed incapacity, for work.

(10) Notwithstanding anything in this Act, the Minister may, in respect of a person to whom subsection (7) applies, prescribe the minimum contribution conditions to be satisfied.

(11) Notwithstanding anything in this Act, in respect of a person to whom subsection (7) applies, the Minister may by regulations under section 40A vary the rate of illness benefit for such period as may be prescribed.

(12) In this section and section 40A, ‘Covid-19’ means a disease caused by infection with the virus SARS-CoV-2 and specified as an infectious disease in accordance with Regulation 6 of, and the Schedule to, the Infectious Diseases Regulations 1981 ( S.I. No. 390 of 1981) or any variant of the disease so specified as an infectious disease in those Regulations.”.