Employees of Walmart in the US who need to self-isolate or have tested positive for COVID-19 will now only get a week’s paid leave as against the two weeks that they were eligible for, earlier.
It has already allowed its corporate staff to work from home as far as possible, till the end of January. Earlier, it had asked them to return to office by January 10, but the same was pushed back amidst the surge in COVID-19 cases across the US.
This change in policy is in keeping with the new health guidelines in the country. As per the latest guidelines from the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention, people need to isolate only for five days after a COVID-19 infection instead of 10 days.
Therefore, the hourly wage workers at Walmart’s stores as well as its drivers have been informed that those who need to quarantine themselves or are ordered to do so by Walmart or any healthcare or government agency, will get a week’s paid leave.
Walmart, which employs about 16 million workers, is one of the first organisations to reduce this leave in the US, probably taking into account the paucity of labour in the country.
Many people are hesitant to return to work as they are scared of being exposed to the virus or are already suffering from it.