Thursday, 19 March 2020
An Bille Sláinte (Caomhnú agus Cosaint agus Bearta Éigeandála Eile Ar Mhaithe Le Leas an Phobail), 2020: Céim an Choiste agus na Céimeanna a bheidh Fágtha - Health (Preservation and Protection and other Emergency Measures in the Public Interest) Bill 2020: Committee and Remaining Stages
Thomas Byrne (Meath East, Fianna Fail)
The legislation has to go through, although I understand that the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection has been operating the Bill's social welfare provisions on an administrative basis in any event. Deputy O'Callaghan raised the issue of the definition of "medical officer" that I raised last night at the briefing, and the Irish Council for Civil Liberties contacted us about the matter last night. While the provisions in the Bill have to be brought in, we never achieve anything by rushing through matters. We have to come up with some kind of balance between ensuring that staff are okay and that Deputies are satisfied with the voting arrangements.
On the pandemic emergency payment, there is a great deal of confusion over the position of part-time workers. It would be helpful if the Minister set out the position on that payment for such workers.