HOSPERSA CALLS FOR TAX EXEMPTION ON SALARIES FOR HEALTH WORKERS DURING LOCKDOWN

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HOSPERSA CALLS FOR TAX EXEMPTION ON SALARIES FOR HEALTH WORKERS DURING LOCKDOWN

09 April 2020

Hospersa, a Union of more than 60 000 health workers in the public and private health sector, has called on government to exempt tax deductions on salaries for health workers working during the country’s lockdown period.  The Union has made this call as a gesture to encourage the health workers who are putting their lives on the line during this fight against Covid-19.

Hospersa has called on government to pass a law to exempt tax deductions for essential services employees, especially health workers working during the country’s lockdown period.  The Union has made this call in the absence of danger allowance, which is currently not in place, as an incentive for health workers during this fight against Covid-19.  To date, there has been more than sixty (60) health workers that have tested positive for the Coronavirus Covid-19 with the number rising on a daily basis.  The Union has attributed this rising number of cases on the absence of protective measures at the various public and private health institutions where the lack of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) has been highlighted.  Hospersa says that health workers are putting their lives at risk and government is doing little to support them during this fight.

“Hospersa is calling on government to exempt collecting taxes on salaries from all health workers working during the lockdown period,” said Hospersa General Secretary Noel Desfontaines.  “Health workers are exposed to a great amount of risk during this lockdown period with little support from government.  The tax exemption should be implemented to encourage the brave women and men that are at the cold face of the virus under very difficult working conditions,” added Desfontaines.

There has been numerous reports on the lack of PPE in public and private health facilities which has led many unions, like Hospersa, to call on their members to withdraw their labour when PPE is not provided by the employer.  Netcare St Augustine in KwaZulu-Natal recorded 47 Covid-19 positive cases of health workers which further pushed Hospersa, the majority union at Netcare, to call for more protection of its members in both the public and the private sectors. 

“Health workers are expected to work in unsafe working conditions where sufficient PPE is not provided by the employer,” argued Desfontaines.  “Hospersa will be tabling an urgent motion at the Public Health and Social Development Bargaining Council (PHSDSBC) for the implementation of danger allowance for all health workers classified as essential services when Council resumes after the lockdown.  We will also be tabling the same item in all private health organisations where we enjoy majority membership like at Netcare and various Life Healthcare hospitals,” added Desfontaines.

“While many have the luxury to stay indoors and practice social distancing during this fight against Covid-19, health workers are exposed to the risk of infection on a daily basis as they are at the cold face of the pandemic.  Support from government and private health sector employers will go a long way in instilling confidence in our foot soldiers during this fight against Covid-19,” concluded Desfontaines.

 

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For more information please contact Hospersa Public Relations Officer – Kevin Halama 060-546-8166

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