Employers who bring in workers both skilled and highly skilled to Meghalaya from outside should now pay for the quarantine facilities to be availed by their workers.
“Upon arrival, all workers will be screened and tested for COVID-19 as per the protocols issued by the Meghalaya Health and Family Welfare Department,” the standard operating procedures (SOPs) for employers who intend to bring in and engage skilled/highly skilled workers from outside the State issued by the Meghalaya labour department.
“The workers shall be transported by the employer to the paid quarantine facilities where they shall undergo quarantine until the test results are known,” the SOPs added.
“Payment for the quarantine facilities will be made by the employers,” the SOPs said.
The SOPs issued by Principal Secretary (labour department), D P Wahlang said that employers shall also ensure that the workers are well aware of the “return to work” plans and procedures before they move from their current location.
The SOPs aim to provide general guidance and information to employers in order to enable workers to return to work safely while keeping the risk of contamination as low as possible.
Stating that employers shall obtain permission from the respective Deputy Commissioners prior to bringing in the workers from outside the State and provide complete details of the workers including their permanent address, current location and contact details, the SOPs directed the employers to also submit an undertaking to the Deputy Labour Commissioner of the district confirming adherence to the guidelines of Ministry of Home Affairs and protocols issued by the Meghalaya Health and Family Welfare Department before the commencement of operations.
“After permission is obtained, employers shall register such workers with the Deputy Labour Commissioner of the respective Districts providing complete details of the workers including their permanent address, current location, and contact details,” the SOPs said.
Anyone tested positive, shall follow the protocols issued by the Meghalaya Health and Family Welfare Department, and persons tested negative may be transported to the quarantine facility to be arranged by the employer and placed in quarantine for 14 days.
Post-quarantine, the SOPs said, the employers should ensure the workers stay within the premises and the employers will also be responsible ensuring that all social distancing norms are strictly followed and workers wear masks at all times.
The employers shall ensure that the workplace is sufficiently stocked with the necessary sanitization materials including soap, hand sanitizer and masks.
Employers shall ensure availability of water-stations in the site and direct workers to frequently and regularly wash their hands.
Employers shall put in place a plan for systematic cleaning and disinfection of tools as well as stocking up on cleaning supplies and any protective equipment that may be needed.
“The employers shall inform and sensitize workers about COVID-19 which should include topics such as what the symptoms are, how each individual can protect themselves, current restrictions (e.g. travel bans), and the rationale behind physical distancing,” the SOPs added.
“Employers are to ensure that each worker is covered under Health Insurance Scheme at their cost,” the SOPs further stated.