Government to meet employers over challenges posed by Covid-19

Government will meet with employers to discuss the coronavirus threat
Government will meet with employers to discuss the coronavirus threat
Image: REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/File Photo

The government will have discussions with the employment sector on how to deal with the scourge of coronavirus.

On the table is leave, health and safety measures in workplaces.

As it stands, employees are confused about where they have to go to work or does the announcement by the president also affect them especially those who work in large groups.

In announcing a state of national disaster as coronavirus spreads across the country, President Cyril Ramaphosa said that gatherings of more 100 people are prohibited.

Labour minister Thulas Nxesi said that they would meet with the National Economic Development and Labour Council (Nedlac) to iron out some of the issues related to employees.

He said that they would be reminding employees that they have to adhere to the guidelines of promoting high levels of hygiene in the workplaces.

Nxesi said that they would also be discussing leave days as well as compensation in cases where an employee contracts the coronavirus while working.

“We will also be discussing with them in instances where employees are required to be quarantined as a result of having travelled to the different countries or coming into contact with the virus. From various types of leaves we will be talking about them which will have to be utilised in this instance and talk about any other extraordinary measures which we will have to do if it’s necessary,” Nxesi said.

“Again in line with the provisions of the compensation for occupational injuries and diseases: if employees contract the Covid-19 during the course of performing their duties they will have to be compensated. We will be talking about those issues.”

He said on the agenda would also be the provision of protective equipment in the places of work. He said they would also be listening to some of the proposals brought by the employees.

“We will impress upon that employers are required to provide employees in terms of health and risk assessment with the necessary protective equipment they are required to put in place systems to deal with the outbreak,” Nxesi said.

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