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Dismissals Should be Banned Throughout Coronavirus Outbreak

Confederation of Progressive Trade Unions of Turkey (DİSK) Chair Arzu Çerkezoğlu has released a written statement regarding the economic and administrative measures to be taken against Covid-19, the new coronavirus, with which 47 people have so far been diagnosed in Turkey.

The following measures have been listed in the statement so that workers suffer the least harm during the outbreak:

Dr. Cerkezoglu

Dr. Cerkezoglu

* Throughout coronavirus outbreak, dismissals (except for dismissals relating to a guilt) must be banned.

* The conditions for benefiting from unemployment insurance fund must be eased in the face of any possible increase in unemployment depending on the negative developments in the economy.

* The current legislation stipulates that a person should work for at least 600 days in the last three years so that he or she can benefit from unemployment insurance fund. This period should be decreased to 90 days.

* The bills and credit debts relating to the basic needs of electricity, water, natural gas and communications should be deferred if the person becomes unemployed or suffers a loss of income during coronavirus outbreak.

* If they have a child below the age of 15, one of the parents should be given an administrative leave in public sector and a paid leave in private sector for a period equal to the duration when the schools will remain closed.

* The workers who are at higher risk should be granted leave regardless of whether they work in public or private sector.

* Those who are pregnant, on their legal maternity leave, have disabilities, are at and over the age of 60 should be given an administrative leave in public institutions and a paid leave in private sector.

* The paid leave granted to workers as part of coronavirus measures should not be deducted from their paid annual leave.

* The 14-day quarantine period should be taken within the scope of “state of illness” by the Social Security Institution (SGK) and the Ministry, thereby preventing any losses of income to be incurred by employees.

* Rather than dismissals and unpaid leaves, short-time working funds and paid leaves should be implemented more widespreadly.

* When businesses have to curb their working hours, shut down or decrease their production or services during the outbreak, they should be provided with a Short-Term Working Fund as part of Unemployment Insurance Fund.

* The force majeure definition in the related legal regulation should be immediately applied to coronavirus.

* The pensioners are one of the most vulnerable groups to coronavirus. Their low income makes it hard for them to protect themselves from the virus. Within this framework, the pensioners who have low income or receive low pensions should be granted 1,000 Turkish Lira (TRY) per month to support them in struggle against coronavirus.

* Trilateral mechanisms, especially the Trilateral Advisory Board, should regularly convene to discuss the measures to be taken in worklife against coronavirus.