Social Welfare (No. 2) Act 2019

Cited as:IR No. 48/2019
Jurisdiction:Ireland


Social Welfare (No. 2) Act 2019

2019 48

An Act to amend and extend the Social Welfare Acts; to amend the National Minimum Wage Act 2000 and the National Training Fund Act 2000; and to provide for related matters.

[24 December 2019]

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1 Preliminary and General

PART 1

Preliminary and General

S-1 Short title, construction and commencement

1 Short title, construction and commencement

(1) This Act may be cited as the Social Welfare (No. 2) Act 2019.

(2) The Social Welfare Acts and Part 2 shall be construed together as one Act.

(3) Sections 4 and 16 shall come into operation on such day or days as the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection may appoint by order or orders either generally or with reference to any particular purpose or provision and different days may be so appointed for different purposes or provisions.

2 Amendments to Social Welfare Acts

PART 2

Amendments to Social Welfare Acts

S-2 Definitions

2 Definitions

2. In this Part—

“Act of 2018” means the Social Welfare, Pensions and Civil Registration Act 2018;

“Principal Act” means the Social Welfare Consolidation Act 2005.

S-3 Employment contributions

3 Employment contributions

(1) Section 13(2) of the Principal Act is amended by the insertion of the following paragraphs after paragraph (db):

“(dc) Subject to paragraphs (dd) and (de), where the Minister has made an order under subsection (1A) of section 10D of the National Minimum Wage Act 2000, he or she may, by order, vary the amount of reckonable earnings specified in subparagraphs (i) and (ii) of paragraph (d).

(dd) An order under paragraph (dc) shall come into operation on the same date as the order under subsection (1A) of section 10D of the National Minimum Wage Act 2000 to which it relates.

(de) An order under paragraph (dc) shall, in so far as practicable, provide that the same proportion of the reckonable earnings of an employed contributor is subject to the rate specified in subparagraphs (i) and (ii) of paragraph (d) on and after the date on which the order comes into operation as it was subject to immediately before that date.”.

(2) The amendments effected by subsection (1) shall come into operation on the passing of this Act and shall cease to have effect on the date on which a recommendation under section 10C of the National Minimum Wage Act 2000 is next made to the Minister.

S-4 Entitlement to benefit or allowance

4 Entitlement to benefit or allowance

4. The Principal Act is amended—

(a) in section 40, by the substitution of the following subsection for subsection (1):

“(1) Subject to this Act, a person shall only be entitled to illness benefit in respect of any day of incapacity for work (in this Act referred to as “a day of incapacity for work”) which forms part of a period of interruption of insurable employment, where—

(a) the person is under pensionable age on the day for which the benefit is claimed,

(aa) he or she is incapable of work,

(ab) the reason for the period of interruption of employment is as a direct result of the person concerned being incapable of work and for no other reason, and

(b) he or she satisfies the contribution conditions in section 41.”,

(b) in section 46A(1), by the substitution of the following paragraph for paragraph (b):

“(b) has a profound restriction on his or her capacity for work in relation to the capacity for work of a person of the same age who has no restriction on his or her capacity for work, and the reason for which restriction is as a direct result of the person concerned being incapable of work and for no other reason,”,

(c) in section 118—

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

“(a) is permanently incapable of working in insurable employment or insurable self-employment, and the reason for which incapacity is as a direct result of the person concerned being incapable of work and for no other reason,

(aa) would be available to work in insurable employment or insurable self-employment were it not for this incapacity, and”,

and

(ii) in subsection (3A), by the substitution of “engage in insurable employment or insurable self-employment” for “engage in work”,

(d) in section 161A, by the substitution of the following paragraphs for paragraph (b):

“(b) the reason for the person’s incapacity to perform any insurable employment or insurable self-employment for which eyesight is essential or to continue his or her ordinary occupation is as a direct result of his or her blindness and for no other reason,

(bb) were it not for this incapacity he or she would be available to work in insurable employment or insurable self-employment,”,

and

(e) in section 210—

(i) in subsection (1) —

(I) in paragraph (b), to substitute “Health Act 1970,” for “Health Act 1970, and”, and

(II) by the insertion of the following paragraphs after paragraph (b):

“(ba) subject to subsection (10), the reason for whose substantial restriction in undertaking suitable employment is as a direct result of the person concerned being incapable of work and for no other reason,

(bb) who, were it not for the substantial restriction, would be available to work in insurable employment or insurable self-employment, and”,

and

(ii) by the insertion of the following subsection after subsection (9):

“(10) A person shall not be disqualified for receipt of a disability allowance while engaging in a prescribed course of education, training or development.”.

S-5 Supplementary provisions

5 Supplementary provisions

5. Section 51(1)(a) of the Principal Act is amended by the substitution of the following definition for the definition of “confinement”:

“‘confinement’ means—

(i) labour resulting in the issue of a living child,

(ii) labour, after 24 weeks of pregnancy, resulting in the issue of a child whether alive or dead, or

(iii) labour resulting in the issue of a child who, at birth, weighs not less than 500 grammes, whether alive or dead,

and ‘confined’ shall be construed accordingly;”.

S-6 Rates of assistance - jobseeker’s allowance

6 Rates of assistance - jobseeker’s allowance

(1) Section 142A(4) of the Principal Act is amended—

(a)

in paragraph (c), by the deletion of “or”,

(b)

in sub-clause (III) of clause (ii) of paragraph (d) by the substitution of “Child Care Act 1991, or” for “Child Care Act 1991.”, and

(c)

by the insertion of the following paragraph after paragraph (d):

“(e) a claimant is in receipt, in his or her own right, of—

(i) rent supplement payable in accordance with section 198(3),

(ii) housing assistance, in accordance with Part 4 of the Housing (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2014, or

(iii) social housing support within the meaning of the Housing (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2009.”.

(2) This section comes into operation on 1 January 2020.

S-7 Poverty impact assessment of reduced jobseeker rates for 18-24 year olds

7 Poverty impact assessment of reduced jobseeker rates for 18-24 year olds

7. The Minister shall carry out a poverty impact assessment of maintaining reduced rates of jobseeker payments for young jobseekers aged 18-24 years and that the assessment shall be presented to the Oireachtas Joint Committee on Employment Affairs and Social Protection within 3 months of the enactment of this Act.

S-8 Jobseeker’s allowance - repeal of section 142B and consequential amendments

8 Jobseeker’s allowance - repeal of section 142B and consequential amendments

(1) The Principal Act is amended—

(a)

in section 141A—

(i) in subsection (2), by the substitution of “142(1A) or, as the case may be, section 142A(1A)” for “142(1A), 142A(1A) or, as the case may be, section 142B(1A)”,

(ii) in subsection (4), by the substitution of “142(1A) or, as the case may be, section 142A(1A)” for “142(1A), 142A(1A) or, as the case may be, section 142B(1A)”, and

(iii) in subsection (7), by the substitution of “142(1A) or, as the case may be, section 142A(1A)” for “142(1A), 142A(1A) or, as the case may be, section 142B(1A)”,

(b)

in section 141B—

(i) in subsection (1), by the substitution of “142(1A) or, as the case may be, section 142A(1A)” for “142(1A), 142A(1A) or, as the case may be, section 142B(1A)”, and

(ii) in subsection (2), by the substitution of “142(1A) or, as the case may be, section 142A(1A)” for “142(1A), 142A(1A) or, as the case may be, section 142B(1A)”,

(c)

in section 142—

(i) in subsection (1), by the substitution of “142A, 144” for “142A, 142B, 144”, and

(ii) in subsection (3), by the substitution of “subsection (2)(a)(iii) and section 142A(a)(iii),” for “subsection (2) (a) (iii), section 142A(2) (a) (iii) and section 142B(2)(a)(iii),” in each place where it occurs,

(d)

by the repeal of section 142B,

(e)

in section 198(1A), by the substitution of “142A, 197(2) ” for “142A, 142B, 197(2) ”, and

(f)

in Part 1 (amended by section 23 of the Act of 2018) of Schedule 4, by the deletion of reference 1(d).

(2) This section comes into operation on 1 January 2020.

S-9 Carer’s allowance

9 Carer’s allowance

9. Section 179(1) of the Principal Act is amended in the definition of “relevant person” by the substitution of the following paragraph for paragraph (b):

“(b) is under the age of 16 years and is a person in respect of whom a payment under Chapter 8A of Part 3 is being made;”.

S-10 Supplementary welfare allowance - repeal of certain provisions and consequential amendments

10 Supplementary welfare allowance - repeal of certain provisions and consequential amendments

(1) The Principal Act is amended—

(a)

in section 195A—

(i) in subsection (2), by the substitution of “(1A) or, as the case may be, (2A) of section 197” for “(1A), (2A) or, as the case may be, (4A) of section 197”,

(ii) in subsection (4), by the substitution of “(1A) or, as the case may be, (2A) of section 197” for “(1A), (2A) or, as the case may be, (4A) of section 197”, and

(iii) in subsection (8), by the substitution of “(1A) or, as the case may be, (2A) of...

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