GWU insists quarantine leave should be paid

Amid the growing social and economic impacts of the coronavirus outbreak, the General Workers’ Union is insisting workers should not shoulder the financial burden • Calls for dialogue

General Workers’ Union headquarters
General Workers’ Union headquarters

Workers should not have quarantine leave deducted from their vacation or sickness leave, the General Workers’ Union said.

It warned of industrial action on workplaces that breached established procedures and collective agreements, saying that at such a delicate moment this was not the time to impose measures that reduced workers’ incomes.

The union said it will not accept imposed and arbitrary measures without consultation on workplaces where it is represented, and which go against established procedures in collective agreements.

“The GWU believes that at this delicate stage there is the need for greater collaboration, consultation, and dialogue between employers and unions… the GWU has received various complaints from workers who were sent home on quarantine leave and were informed this was unpaid leave or deducted from their vacation or sick leave,” the union said.

The union said quarantine should be considered as special paid leave.

“It is unacceptable for workers to shoulder the financial burden of this leave,” the union said.

The union said it was willing to dialogue with employers to find acceptable solutions but warned it would resort to industrial action if established procedures, collective agreements and formal protocols are ignored.

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