Can’t fire ‘em

Even during these extraordinary times, workers, especially daily wage earners, have to be on the job.

They have to, and they need to because they and heir families need to eat and survive this perilous period.

No work, no pay – no eat. This is the cruel reality for most of them amid the 2019 corona virus contagion.

Being ordered to stop heart-breaking

The sight of that cab driver begging and crying as he was being told to plying his trade was heart-breaking.

We are sure that scene was repeated in ogher checkpoints and over the last couple of days.

Indeed, no worker would put his job on the line duringban on pub;ic transport this very difficult period.

But apparently, there are still heartless employers who find sinister opportunities to get rid of their workers who can’t be on the jobsite because of the ban on public transportation.

And so just to be sure that they don’t fire anyone for not showing up to work, the government has thankfully warned them against doing so.      

Employers are not allowed to sack their workers who fail to report for work during the one-month quarantine period in the entire Luzon amid the outbreak of Covid-19 in the country.

The latest directive was included in a bulletin, which was approved by President Duterte, that contains the “basic do’s and don’ts” during the implementation of Luzon-wide “enhanced” community quarantine from March 17 to April 12.

“Employers should not terminate their employees by reason only of not reporting for work because of the Covid-19 situation,” the bulletin read.

Employers should not require their employees to report for work, unless their company is “engaged in basic necessities or services.”

Under the bulletin, employers are encouraged to adopt a work arrangement that will not require “physically reporting for work.”

Employers are also prodded to extend financial assistance and grant prorated 13th month pay to their employees.

Amid the rising cases of Covid-19 in the country, the President  on Monday implemented enhanced community quarantine in the entire Luzon until April 12.

The Department of Health reported on Wednesday 15 new confirmed Covid-19 cass, bringing the total number of cases in the country to 202.

In its 4 p.m. medical bulletin, the DoH also reported three more deaths, bringing the total number of deaths due to Covid-19 in the country to 17.

People living in Luzon are required to observe strict home quarantine and limit their movements during the month-long quarantine period.

On Tuesday night, Laborand Employment  Sec. Silvestre Bello III said workers cannot be punished because of their failure to go to work amid the Covid-19 outbreak.

Bello added that employees may file a complaint against their employers before the Department of Labor and Employment.

“Since they are under enhanced community quarantine, then they can really not report. And they will be excused. There will be no basis for them to be disciplined,” he said.

The government assured that those who have been affected by the work stoppage will receive social amelioration packages from DoLE and the Department of Social Welfare and Development.

Individuals who are not covered by the work suspension include policemen, soldiers, health workers, authorized government workers, media practitioners, and those rendering essential services.

Those who are still allowed to go to work are told to avoid asking “non-exempted” individuals to accompany them to their workplace.