Do Essential Services Workers need to be paid ‘double-pay’?

The answer is a ‘No’. But the Government can change that. Will it? Or will it ask us to dip our hands into our EPF?

[This article is the joint effort of Mr VK Raj and GK Ganesan]

Those who slog in the small hours of the morning, suffering without sleep and rest, ask these questions:

Should not Essential Service Workers be paid double pay?

What about those who are forced to work during the ‘lockdown’ period?

Is the MCO period to be considered a holiday period?

The answer is a ‘No’

The MCO period is not a ‘holiday’ for two reasons:

(a) it is not a gazetted public holiday, and

(b) the Government has not – so far – declared it as one – we think it should!

The Government has declared a period of ‘Movement Control Order’ (‘MCO’) under the PCIDA.1Prevention and Control of Infectious Diseases Act 1988

So, Essential Services employees, at this time, only get paid their normal wages.

So right now, any hope of our Essential Servicemen of getting ‘double pay’ is out of the question.

But that need not remain so.

We know this is unfair – so will the Government reward the Essential Services Employees?

These employees are hard at work ‘busting their chops’, as it were, while the rest of the nation is cooped up within their homes.

What are we doing for the medical staff and enforcement officers as a nation?

They are the Front-Liners: they fight the further spread of the coronavirus.

“Make no mistake – our medical staff face risk of death every second

The doctors, nurses and medical staff help infected patients – they must be somehow rewarded properly: for they face the risk of death every single hour.

As do members of the enforcements services, like the police, border patrols, the armed forces, and Immigration Officers, and the Road Transport Department staff – to name a few.

The Government needs to intervene and not only protect – but reward – these Essential Services workers

So there is a strong case for the Government to increase their wages immediately.

The United Kingdom has done it.

The French Government has done it.

And what does our Government say?

It says, ‘You can put your hands into your savings, and withdraw part of your EPF’.

“Is that fair, we ask you?


[The author expresses his gratitude to MR VK Raj, Ms.KN Geetha, Mr. JD Prabhkirat Singh, Mr. GS Saran, Miss KP Kasturi, Ms. Tina Syamsuriatina Ishak, Mr. Andrew Lim, Ms Santhi Latha and Mr. Matthew Thomas Philip for their assistance.]

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