More than 100 labor unions have signed a petition demanding paid leave for workers who are put in quarantine or given medical treatment for COVID-19.
That’s after the Cabinet passed a statute last week that grants leave to workers put under quarantine for COVID-19, but does not require their employers to pay them while they are away from work.
On Monday, several labor unions organized a protest for workers kept under quarantine amid the COVID-19 outbreak. Chanting “paid leave while under quarantine,” demonstrators urged the Legislature to protect workers’ rights.
One labor union representative says that it would be unjust for workers forced into quarantine to be denied pay for a period when they cannot come in to work.
A representative from a hospital workers’ union agrees. She says medical workers are entitled to paid leave to begin with, saying also that medical staff are the ones fighting the outbreak on the frontlines. She says that under the Communicable Disease Control Act medical workers forced into quarantine should at least receive minimum wage for the time they are unable to work.
Protesters say that the government’s quarantine measures shouldn’t be turned into a punishment for those they leave unable to go to work.