GOVERNOR Babajide Sanwoolu has warned employers in Lagos State against sacking employees who have contracted coronavirus pointing out that it is not right to discriminate against anyone who has contracted the virus.
Due to superstition and ignorance, many uninformed Nigerians believe there is a social stigma attached to Covid-19 and treat those who contracted it like lepers. Seeking to combat such ignorance and prejudice, Governor Sanwoolu has warned employers in the state against discriminatory practices towards coronavirus survivors and those still receiving treatment.
Governor Sanwoolu condemned the recent actions of human resources managers, who asked workers across the state to take Covid-19 tests as a condition for the continuation of their appointments. He noted that these managers should rather focus on educating their pool of talents on precautionary measures to take at the workplace as part of collective efforts to stamp out the pandemic.
“It is futile to ask people to take Covid-19 tests if you are not going to sequester them after. It is also useless because your test is only as good as the period of time within which you’ve taken it, so as long as people are going home every day it is pointless.
“Please focus on educating your workforce on preventive measures, reiterate the need for frequent hand washing, ensure that visitors and staff coming in are complying with the #MaskUpLagos and within the offices, ensure work stations are placed at a good distance apart. Also, ensure that stationery is not shared, common areas and all surfaces are cleaned more frequently and encourage and enable remote working.
“Covid-19 testing is very serious business, testing reagents are scarce and are used strategically and also be wary of those peddling kits up and down. If someone falls ill from Covid-19, they will be issued a certificate of wellness from the accredited facility where they were treated and this should enable them to resume at work as soon as they feel fit to do so.
“Please do not sack anyone because they came down with Covid-19, it is discriminatory and stigmatises people,” Governor Sanwoolu added.
He stressed that the fight against the pandemic is collective and everyone must play their part but objected to employers asking employees to get results as it shifts responsibility, wastes resources and gives a false sense of security to organisations and employees. Governor Sanwoolu, however, asked employers to report to the appropriate quarters should anyone display symptoms of the virus at workplaces.