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Covid-19: Govt tells companies to protect wages, not terminate workers

The Central government has asked all companies to ensure that workers, especially contract labour, who take leave as a precaution towards the coronavirus pandemic (Covid-19) should be treated to be ‘on duty’ and their salaries should not be deducted.

“In the backdrop of such challenging situation, all the employers of public or private establishments are advised to extend their coordination by not terminating their employees, particularly casual or contractual workers from job or reduced their wages, Union labour and employment ministry joint secretary Kalpana Rajsinghot said in a letter dated March 20 sent to employers’ associations, adding, “If any worker takes leave, he should be deemed to be on duty without any consequential deduction in wages for this period.”

A labour ministry official explained that if workers are considered to be ‘on duty’, they will be entitled to wages and other benefits.

The advisory further stated that “if the place of employment is to be made non-operational due to the Covid-19, the employees of such unit will be deemed to be on duty.” This means that if any establishment is closed due to a positive case of Covid-19 virus in the premises then the employees will be considered to be ‘on duty’ and not on leave.

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