ELDERS & CARE WORKERS DURING COVID-19

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This working paper is a deliverable of the research project, Legislating Corona: Proportionality, Non-Discrimination and Transparency (PRONTO), funded by Independent Research Fund Denmark (Grant number: 0213-00025B). The paper focuses on two groups who have been particularly affected by the COVID-19 pandemic: elders and care workers. The paper is made up of three parts which can be read separately or together. In Part 1, restrictions on movement imposed on elders in response to COVID-19 in Ireland and Denmark are analysed in light of the principles of proportionality and transparency. This includes stay at home orders and recommendations specific to elders advising them to "cocoon" or avoid social contact. We discuss how embeded and embodied vulnerability can be created through recommendations on social contact and reductions in home help.
In Part II, the restrictions on visits in Danish and Irish nursing homes are evaluated using similar criteria. We explore how nursing homes were given discretion, which appears to have resulted in violations in residents' rights, such as, being without a legal basis stopped from leaving a care home. Furthermore, we discuss how the underlying conditions, such as personal protective equipment and poor living conditions, should be taken into account when analysing proportionality.
Finally, Part III explores the underlying structures facing care workers from a feminist legal perspective. We argue that the overarching frameworks must be included in assessments of the proportionality of restrictions. A particular focus is placed on the difficulty of being compensated for mental health related COVID workplace injuries and the potential implications.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 19 Dec 2020

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