PART 14 – Amendment of Social Welfare Consolidation Act 2005
Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection
This has already been drafted – section 83 of the 2019 Act refers.
The proposed amendment is intended to ensure that reciprocal agreements could be carried out regarding any scheme provided for in the 2005 Act if the Minister wished to do so. It is also considered that the proposed amendment would be a neater construction than the provision which includes a list of some schemes only. On making the amendment the subsection would read as follows:
287.—(1) The Minister may make such orders as may be necessary to carry out any reciprocal or other arrangements made with any international organisation, any other state or government or the proper authority under any other government, in respect of matters relating to insurance and benefits under Part 2, social assistance under Part 3; child benefit under Part 4, or any other payment under this Act and may by any such order make any adaptations of and modifications in respect of these matters that he or she considers necessary.
The Brexit Omnibus Act included a similar provision (section 287(a) refers) to include a reference to “social assistance under Part 3” but this is slightly broader in order to ensure that any scheme under the 2005 Act could be covered by a reciprocal agreement regardless of which Part of that Act sets out the provisions of the scheme.
The amendment at (b)
This amendment has already been drafted – section 84(b) of the Brexit Omnibus Act refers.
The new subsection (3) allows the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection to make an order to provide for the manner in which an arrangement, made under the section, is to apply to persons to whom a different arrangement under this section applies. This provides for the interaction between the new agreement with the UK and the agreement in place since 2007 which will continue in operation.
The new subsection (4) provides that an arrangement under section 87 includes an agreement, in certain circumstances, which is intended to be binding on the Minister, the State or the Government where it has not yet become binding. This allows the Minister to make an order to provide for the implementation of an agreement (such as the Convention on Social Security between the Government of Ireland and the Government of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, which ensures continuity of Common Travel Areas social protection arrangements, signed on the 1st February 2019) if that is required before the process to bring the Convention into effect in international law has been completed. The Convention has passed through the Parliamentary ratification process in both Ireland and the UK. An exchange of letters between the two countries is required at the appropriate time in order to bring the Convention into effect (in Ireland this is also a requirement for the Minister to sign an S.I). It is intended that the Convention will be brought into effect immediately at the end of the transition period following the UK’s exit from the EU. This is a contingency provision in case there is any delay with this exchange of letters at that stage.
Head 14-3. Consequential amendments to Act of 2005
Certain payments – entitlement to island allowance
These provisions have already been drafted – section 85 of the Brexit Omnibus Act refers.
These amendments provide the required technical amendments to include references to the United Kingdom as follows:
- section 113A – entitlement to invalidity pension in certain circumstances,
- section 205 – recoupment of supplementary welfare allowance in certain circumstances,
- Table 2 of Schedule 3 – treatment of payments equivalent to child benefit in the means test, and
- inserts a new Part 8A – entitlement to island allowance
These amendments essentially replicate provisions referring to an EU Member State so that the same rules will be applied with regard to the treatment of the UK under these provisions after the end of the Brexit transition period.
Head 14-4. Provisions with regard to the Recovery of Benefits & Assistance and Measures regarding Fraud and Control
These are additional provisions which do not have corresponding sections in the Brexit Omnibus Act. These provisions are;
- to ensure the Department can continue to operate fraud and control measures within the Common Travel Area, ensuring the good administration of the social welfare system, and
- to enable the Department to continue to operate the recovery of benefits and assistance arrangements in cases where the compensator is based outside of the EU. This is to ensure that a person is not compensated twice in respect of the same accident, injury or disease.
PART 15 – Protection of Employees (Employers’ Insolvency) Act 1984
Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection
This is a definition provision.
This has already been drafted – section 86 of the Brexit Omnibus Act refers.
This has already been drafted – section 87 of the Brexit Omnibus Act refers.
This amendment is to provide updates to existing definitions, extending them to include competent authorities and relevant officers in the UK, meaning applications can be submitted by administrators of employers who have been made insolvent under the laws of the United Kingdom on behalf of employees employed or habitually employed in Ireland.
This has already been drafted – section 88 of the Brexit Omnibus Act refers.
This amendment provides that employees who are employed or habitually employed in Ireland whose employers are made insolvent under the laws of the UK continued to be covered in Ireland, and also provides that the date an employer is made insolvent under the laws of the UK will continue to be the date an employer will be regarded as having become insolvent.
This provision has already been drafted – section 89 of the Brexit OmnibusAct refers.
This provides that amounts certified by an actuary or a person performing a similar task in relation to employers made insolvent in the UK, where the employees are employed or habitually employed in Ireland, continue to be covered by the scheme.
This has already been drafted – section 90 of the Brexit Omnibus Act refers.
This provides that the Minister may by regulations provide for the transfer of data to the UK for the purpose of carrying out the functions of the Act. The data to be exchanged will be with a relevant officer, actuary, or a person performing a similar task and appointed to an employer which is in a state of insolvency under the laws of the UK.
The associated Regulations have also been drafted and (subject to some minor amendments such as the date of effect) stand ready to be signed by the Minister at the appropriate time.