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Free treatment for all workers

Free treatment for all workers

Tribune News Network
Doha
All workers will receive necessary treatment for free and their status is not relevant, according to new guidelines issued by the Ministry of Administrative Development Labor & Social Affairs on Saturday.
As per the guidelines, during the current COVID-19 crisis, the possession of a health card and/or Qatar ID is not necessary in order to be tested and/or receive treatment. These services are provided for free by the government.
“A worker who tests positive for COVID-19 will be quarantined in centres in the Mukainis area and will be provided all necessary medical care, food and lodging for free,” it said.
A worker can be placed in isolation by government authorities, while they await their test results, if it is suspected that they may have COVID-19 (if they display any symptoms or have had contact with anyone who is infected with COVID-19).
All workers in isolation, quarantine or receiving treatment will be paid their basic salary and receive their allowances irrespective of whether they are entitled to sick leave benefits, it added.
The guidelines said if a worker shows symptoms such as coughing, fever, or difficulty breathing they should stay away from others and immediately contact Qatar’s COVID-19 hotline 16000. In case of emergency, the worker should request an ambulance by calling 999.
A worker should go into self-isolation and call the COVID-19 hotline 16000 if he or she:
1. Shows any symptoms of COVID-19, such as coughing, fever, or difficulty breathing
2. Has had contact with anyone who has tested positive with COVID-19, even if at the time of contact he or she was not showing any symptoms of the disease.
3. Has returned recently from any country that has a wide spread of the disease.
The guidelines stipulated that a specialised medical team working under the supervision of the Supreme Committee for Crisis management under the Ministry of Public Health is responsible for arranging the treatment of workers’ isolation and quarantine. The employer is not responsible for arranging the isolation or quarantine of workers.
“Workers employed in sectors that have followed government instructions to cease services will receive their basic salary and allowances from their employer,” it noted.
On termination of contracts, it said “Employers have the right to terminate contracts. However, the termination of employment must be carried out in full compliance with the terms of the Labour Law and the contract, including the notice period and the payment of all pending entitlements including return ticket to home country.”
“It is important for all to collaborate through this period to minimise the damage for the benefit of both parties – worker and employer, taking into account the survival of the business and employment over the longer term. Therefore, employers and workers may mutually agree that workers take unpaid leave or use their annual leave, if the business has been halted and the worker is not assigned any work. However, employers must continue to provide all other benefits, including accommodation and food,” the guidelines said.
In case, workers are outside of the country and unable to return, the guidelines stipulated that the employer and the worker should discuss working conditions and benefits.
“The worker is entitled to refuse any adjustment to the contract. In case of termination of employment, this must be carried out in full compliance with the terms of the Labour Law and the contract, including the notice period and the payment of all pending entitlements.”
All of the information above applies equally to domestic workers employed in homes.
In case, workers have a complaint or problem about their employment or accommodation during this time, they should contact the Ministry of Administrative Development, Labour and Social Affairs at 16008 or by email at info madlsa gov.ca.