Trinity COVID-19 Law Report Recommends Key Policy Changes

Posted on: 09 December 2020

  • A State-backed insurance fund to cover pandemics 
  • Employers should consider legislation to protect employees from burn-out and ensure work-life balance 
  • A code of conduct dealing with mortgage arrears for commercial premises 
  • Clarification on how COVID-19 related hardship can be taken into account by judges in repossession proceedings 


A report, ‘Law and Policy Responses to COVID-19 in Ireland: Supporting Individuals, Communities, Businesses, and the Economy (Response Report)’, by the COVID-19 Legal Observatory at the School of Law, Trinity College Dublin, has identified a number of recommendations for policy makers and private parties with respect to socio-economic issues arising in the wake of COVID-19.

Recommendations have been made in the areas of Rental Housing; Banks and Mortgages; Workforce and Employment; Social Protection; Business Interruption and Insurance; Corporate Governance and EU Recovery Package and is the first in a series of planned reports designed to contribute actively to public debate and to shape public policy and law reform through analysing and evaluating Ireland’s response to COVID-19. 

Dr Suryapratim Roy, Assistant Professor at the School of Law, Trinity College Dublin and Co-editor of the report explains:  

“Ireland, like most of the world, has responded to the COVID-19 pandemic with an unprecedented series of restrictions on everyday life, designed to stem the spread of the virus in the interests of the common good. These restrictions have, in turn, imposed significant costs on individuals, families, and businesses. It is vital that in these challenging times, policy makers and private parties put in place measures to deal with such concerns, consider reforms for further stages of pandemic, and also for resuming normal life after the pandemic.” 

Dr Deirdre Ahern, Associate Professor at the School of Law, Trinity College Dublin and co-editor of the report explains the importance of a State-backed insurance fund, even in light of an impending vaccination programme: 

We recommend the introduction of a State-backed insurance fund, as this would have the considerable advantage of eliminating intractable disputes between businesses and insurance companies concerning business disruption and would ensure that businesses receive much needed economic support. And, it’s important to note that although welcome, the arrival of a vaccine is unlikely to immediately solve economic distress experienced by individuals, communities and businesses. Moreover, it would not address inequalities in dealing with the impacts of the pandemic. The Government, employers and banks need to be sensitive to this in withdrawing supports that are in place so as to avoid an avalanche of personal and corporate insolvencies.” 

The full report can be read here

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