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9th March 2020 | Health, Press Releases

People isolated because of Covid 19, and those caring for them, need to be compensated – Greens

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Green Party Seanad candidate Cllr Pauline O’Reilly says that the workplace conditions for those impacted by the Coronavirus need to be addressed.

Reacting to the news that the Taoiseach will examine this she said:

“The current crisis highlights just how many people are living hand to mouth.

“We know that those who are in isolation due to the Coronavirus are not the only people impacted. Parents and other carers are also suffering when a loved one is home from school or respite care.

“Terms and conditions for workers vary hugely and all need to be taken into consideration. While some can avail of sick leave, most cannot.

“I am asking the Taoiseach to include carers in the measures that are put in place. Those in precarious employment, carers, teachers, nurses, and all workers who have been limited to the statutory ‘force majeure’ leave of three days in a twelve-month period are deeply worried. It impacts their ability to pay rent, mortgages, and even food.

“We want to see the force majeure rule extended from 3 days to 14 days for any worker caring for a dependent in isolation or for any worker who is themselves in isolation.

“This would mean that the worker would receive full pay during this time. The State could then subsidise the increased cost to business.

“We need to send out a clear message that you can and should stay away from work if you are in isolation, or if you are caring for someone in isolation.”