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Workers facing termination, deductions over crisis urged to inform authorities

Nafaahath Ibrahim
22 March 2020, MVT 19:50
Maldivians captured whilst on their way to work, pre-social distancing prompted by the spread of novel Coronavirus this year. PHOTO: MIHAARU
Nafaahath Ibrahim
22 March 2020, MVT 19:50

Economic Ministry on Saturday urged individuals to call out employers terminating or deducting salaries amid the COVID-19 pandemic and report their situation.

According to a statement released by the ministry, the government has taken an initiative to introduce financial schemes aimed at maintaining company cash flow, in addition to other measures all meant to provide assistance to businesses facing economic setbacks over the global health pandemic.

Stating the above, the ministry urged employees to send through any terminations or changes brought to salary and allowances at this time via the reporting module on their online platform www.jobcenter.mv

The ministry requested those reporting such incidences to include any relevant documents shared by employers with the employee(s) with regard to the changes in their employment status.

Meanwhile, multiple resorts and companies have already deducted salary and allowances, and in-kind, have moved to notify staff of said changes.

On March 19, Minister of Finance, Ibrahim Ameer revealed that the government will introduce financial packages worth MVR 2.5 billion to combat the economic repercussions of the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to the Finance Minister, these measures were intended to prevent the closing down of local businesses and prevent loss of jobs.

For companies, one of the set conditions of eligibility to acquiring said financial aid is having opted to not deduct any amount from salaries and allowances of their employees.

Furthermore, top lawyers in the country have spoken to The Edition urging all employees to take note of the circumstances and reasoning under which they are terminated. Additionally, they advised employees, both local and expatriate, not to hesitate in approaching the Employment Tribunal should they feel like they have been wronged, even at such a juncture.

Maldives currently has 13 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 10 active cases. The country recorded its first two recoveries on Friday, and the third this Saturday. No Maldivians have tested positive for the virus as of yet. So far, only tourists and resort employees have confirmed infections with no local transmissions.

The World Health Organization has classified the spread of COVID-19 as a global pandemic. The novel coronavirus has infected more than 308,400 and claimed over 13,000 lives around the world. Out of those infected, more than 95,800 have recovered.

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