The government has been urged to set up a stimulus package for workers who are likely to be negatively affected by the spread of COVID-19 in Ghana.
Austin Gamey, Chief Executive Officer of Gamey and Gamey Group, a leading labour relations consultancy firm, who made the call in an interview with ADR Daily in Accra, is convinced that employees working within certain sectors of the Ghanaian economy including the Aviation, Tourism and Banking and Finance are likely to be hard hit by shutdown caused of the disease hence an urgent need to set up an account that would be use to cushion affected workers.
“I am saying so because very soon when the hotels are no longer performing as expected, stimulus packages must be designed by government so that they can take care of people who may go home,” he said.
Following the official confirmation of six cases of COVID-19, the President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo Addo on March 15, 2020 as part of measures to address the spread of the virus has directed the Attorney General to submit immediately to Parliament emergency legislation in accordance with Article 21 (4) (c) & (d) of the Constitution of the to embody these measures.
But the renowned labour expert is hoping that the brief that is expected to be presented to the President by the Attorney General would include a stimulus package that is aimed at mitigating the plight of workers whose work might be affected by the pandemic.
“I’m anticipating that when the Attorney General is preparing his brief for the President to see, he should ensure that it includes a stimulus package, a special account with some billions of cedis set up by the government, so that they can take care of people who would be made to go home without pay,” he emphasized.
The proposed stimulus package, Mr. Gamey further explained should be made available to employers within affected sectors so funds allocated to that special account could be accessed and used to pay workers who would be made to go and stay at home.
“Employers need the stimulus package so they can keep the workers in employment; even if they go home they have to be paid. The stimulus package would include among other things health insurance and PPE matters, ” he stated.
Ghana has so far recorded six cases of COVID-19. Educational institutions have subsequently been shut down and other gathering suspended to stop the spread of the virus in Ghana.
The government said three of the cases were recorded in Accra while one other was recorded in the Ashanti Region.
The Director of Public Health at Ghana Health Service, Dr. Badu Sarkodie who provided updates on the country’s cases said the new cases were also imported into the country.
He said two of the cases were confirmed on March 13, 2020 while the other two were confirmed on March 14, 2020.
Benjamin Nana Appiah/adrdaily.com