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Karnataka HC asks state to respond on paid quarantine leave to employees

BENGALURU: The Karnataka High Court on Wednesday asked the state government to submit its response on a public interest litigation, seeking directions to provide 14 days paid quarantine leave to workmen at factories and other establishments, who are outside the ESI coverage, if they contract Covid-19.

Hearing the petition filed by the All-India Trade Union Congress (AITUC), the division bench comprising Chief Justice Abhay Shreeniwas Oka and Justice Ashok S Kinagi issued the direction.The petitioner stated that workers infected with the virus have to be quarantined for 14 days. But some managements are refusing paid leave during the quarantine period, AITUC alleged.

The petitioner contended that workers who depend entirely on wages find it difficult to undergo compulsory quarantine without pay. It pointed out that employees covered under ESI get 28 days of paid leave during the quarantine period. The petitioner also stated that there is no SOP for factories and establishments.