Emergency Measures in the Public Interest (Covid-19) Act 2020

29.

Operation of section 12 - emergency period

29. The Redundancy Payments Act 1967 is amended by the insertion of the following section after section 12:

“12A. (1) Section 12 shall not have effect during the emergency period in respect of an employee who has been laid off or kept on short-time due to the effects of measures required to be taken by his or her employer in order to comply with, or as a consequence of, Government policy to prevent, limit, minimise or slow the spread of infection of Covid-19.

(2) Before the expiration of the emergency period, the Government may, at the request of the Minister made—

(a) after consultation with the Minister for Health,

(b) with the consent of the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform, and

(c) having had regard to the matters referred to in subsection (3),

by order specify a date that is later than the expiration date of the emergency period specified in the definition of ‘emergency period’ or the last order made under this subsection, as the case may be, and the emergency period shall be read as extending to, and including the date so specified.

(3) When making an order under subsection (2), the Government shall have regard to the following:

(a) the nature and potential impact of Covid-19 on individuals, society and the State;

(b) the capacity of the State to respond to the risk to public health posed by the spread of Covid-19;

(c) the policies and objectives of the Government to protect the health and welfare of members of the public;

(d) the need to ensure the most beneficial, effective and efficient use of resources;

(e) the need to mitigate the economic effects of the spread of Covid-19;

(f) the need to ensure a continued attachment to the labour market for workers who have been temporarily laid off or put on short-time as a result of Covid-19;

(g) the need to protect the relationship between employee and employer during the emergency period;

(h) the need to mitigate the increased risk of insolvencies in the event of a substantial number of redundancies occurring over a short time period resulting in permanent job losses.

(4) Every order made under this section shall be laid before each House of the Oireachtas as soon as may be after it is made and, if a resolution annulling the order is passed by either such House within the next 21 days on which that House sits after the order is laid before it, the order shall be annulled accordingly, but without prejudice to the validity of anything previously done thereunder.

(5) In this section—

‘emergency period’ means the period beginning on 13 March 2020 and ending on 31 May 2020;

‘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.”.