New Delhi: As non-essential factories in the state are closed in the wake of the 21-day lockdown announcement by the Central government, the Punjab government on Sunday in a fresh advisory to industries and commercial establishments in the state asked them not to terminate their employees or deduct their wages. Also Read - Watch | Punjab Police Urges Women to Make Men Do the Household Chores Amid Coronavirus Lockdown
“Any employee who takes leave due to the COVID-19 pandemic should be treated on duty as also the workers of factories or units made non-operational by any government order over coronavirus,” the advisory from the state government said. Also Read - 70-Year-Old Man, Punjab's First COVID-19 Casualty, Transmitted Virus to Hundreds: Reports
Issuing the advisory, Principal Secretary (Labour) VK Janjua said the termination of workforce or deduction in their salaries would definitely affect the morale of workers in this fight to contain the virus. Also Read - COVID-19: Punjab Govt to Release 6,000 Prisoners From All Jails Across State
In the advisory, the state government also asked all employers, owners of factories, shops and commercial establishments not to terminate the services or deduct the wages of their employees, particularly casual or contractual ones.
However, the state government in the advisory highlighted that the consistent efforts of the government urging people to stay at home in the wake of coronavirus outbreak would constraint workers to report for work.
“There may be some cases that on this pretext, the employees may dispense with the services of the workers or force the workers/ employees to go on leave without wages/salaries,” the advisory noted.
The advisory also added that the termination of employees from job or reduction in wages at this time of lockdown would further deepen the crisis and will not only weaken the financial condition of the employees/workers but also hamper their morale to combat this epidemic.
On Saturday, media reports from neighbouring state of Haryana suggested that migrant workers are setting out on foot to go back to their homes in Uttar Pradesh and Bihar as all modes of transport have been suspended due to the lockdown.
On the other hand, the state industry representatives also expressed concerns that the workers in the state might also start leaving the state as has been reported from other states of the country.
To boost the morale of workers in the state, the wages of around 30,000 labourers in Jalandhar district were released after a senior police officer met industrialists and requested them to do so.
Meanwhile, the Punjab government has constituted four committees to deal with various key aspects of the state’s COVID-19 management efforts. The committees will focus on Health Sector Response and Procurement, Lockdown Implementation, Media and Communication as well as Agriculture and Food.