Are Public Sector employees unnecessarily exposed to Covid-19?

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Huge international organizations are trending in delaying return to work policies till 2022 to reduce Covid-19 exposure amongst employees. This they said was an attempt to ensure their employees’ health and safety. Trinidad and Tobago’s public sector organizations however have, on the other hand, been mandating that workers return to work at a capacity that is higher than the Prime Minister’s latest fifty percent instruction. In the PM’s latest press conference addressing the public sector, he stated that a fifty percent implementation of only essential staff should be rotated, since then, that mandate remains.

Conversely, employees across several public sector organizations have reported to the Public Services Association (PSA) that operations at their offices, surpass a seventy-five percent employee capacity. Some divisions have reported that they have been mandated to work at a one hundred percent employee capacity. These employees described are actions of employers that simply do not care, as such a mandate does not leave allowances for social distancing amongst workers and only contributes to possible mass outbreaks at workspaces. According to employees, management are reverting to return to work policies as if the pandemic is over and no longer poses a threat to their lives.

Parents too are left in problematic situations as schools and daycares are not yet opened. Many have shared that they are challenged because many have no support systems in place when they are required to return to work. The pandemic continues to pose safety threats to many and as reported by public sector employees, their higher authorities are not doing anything to help in their predicament.