Employers may have to compensate staff who contract Covid-19 in the workplace

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The authorities may soon be coming up with an algorithm which aids in determining whether an individual contracted the Covid-19 virus in the workplace or elsewhere.

This is because the employers may have to bear the responsibility of compensating their employees in the event they contract the virus while on the job.

This is according to the most recent Cabinet notes which stated that “if the employee contracts the disease at the workplace, then the liability is the employer’s [and] if the employee contracts the disease outside the workplace, it becomes the responsibility of the employee and Social Security”.

The vague Cabinet announcement was explained by the Chief of Staff in the Office of the Prime Minister, Lionel Hurst, during yesterday’s post-Cabinet press-briefing.

Hurst admitted that it is difficult to determine precisely where and when an individual may have contracted the virus, “but there is some ability to discern where the likely infection occurred and that is a proposal put forward by the International Labour Organization – the ILO – and we are examining it although we are going to begin to implement such a rule or regulation, according to our Attorney General”.

“It does mean that we must develop the tools necessary to determine where those infections occurred,” he said, imputing that a way of determining the infection site will be developed.

Hurst further explained that “anyone who is absent from work for at least 12 days may have the employer pay 70 percent of the salary or the wage of that employee, and the Social Security administration will pay the other 30 percent, so that the worker gets his 100 percent. But at the end of that 12-day period, there is no guarantee that Social Security will continue to pay, and quarantine will last for a period of 14 calendar days as opposed to 12 working days”.

Meanwhile, the Cabinet reiterated that taking the vaccine will not be mandatory for residents, and no law will be passed to mandate the vaccine’s use.

Meanwhile, as of March 18, more than 25,500 residents have received the first dose of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine since the programme was rolled out in the twin island on February 17.

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