Possible threat of Delta community spread, should employers delay return-to-work mandates?

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Despite a now very possible threat of a Delta community spread, scores of members continue to report to the Public Services Association (PSA) that they are being called back out to work on a basis that is negligent of the PM’s fifty percent rotation. With the recent update given by the Chief Medical Officer (CMO), Dr. Roshan Parasram, members working in large numbers and in confined spaces that prohibits proper social distancing, are now more than ever very concerned. Members have referred to international companies who have chosen to resume ‘return-to-work policies early next year in an attempt to keep employees and their families safe.

Staff at the Ministry of Labour Head Office have shared that specific divisions within the Ministry are asked to operate at full capacity. In phone interviews yesterday and this morning, members have stated that working in spaces that breaches the fifty percent mandate is highly uncomfortable, particularly for those who have concerning health-related risks. Staff reported to the PSA that in some divisions, there are at least 17 persons rostered in small spaces when working at full capacity.

PSA’s Second Vice President, Avinash Maharajh, had stated in a previous interview that employers must be aware that the State Of Emergency (SOE) is still in effect and the COVID-19 virus is still rampant in the country. He had urged employers to act responsibly and roster staff to perform only essential work in accordance with what the Prime Minister dictated.

“When employers act irresponsibly and force workers to report for duty just for the sake of reporting for duty with no essential work to do, it places all the workers at risk. One COVID-19 case and the entire operations will be forced to shut down, even the essential services in such an instance. Such irresponsible behavior by the employer can also result in a spike of cases and further fuel more lockdown measures. The PSA insists that employers demonstrate more prudence in their approach to rostering staff by only bringing out workers that is necessary; to perform critical tasks and ensure that there is proper social distancing,” said SVP Maharajh.