The Zimbabwean government has said it would take care of civil servants who contract COVID-19 while on duty and grant them up to six months sick leave on full pay.
The government also promised to pay medical bills for frontline health staff, the government-controlled Herald newspaper reported on Thursday.
Generally, civil servants are entitled to 90 days’ sick-leave on full salary, but possible complications due to COVID-19 have led the government to revise the regulation.
The World Health Organisation’s latest protocols give two weeks as the longest recovery period, but there have been cases of people who, while no longer infectious, still suffer from complications and recurring symptoms.
The Secretary for the Public Service Commission, Jonathan Wutawunashe, said the commission was looking at several adjustments to protect its workers.
“We have adjusted a lot of things to protect our workers, such as for how long can you be ill and still (be) paid a full salary.
“It has been adjusted from 90 days to 180 days. It is an adjustment of what is normal.
“There is normal coverage of the medical expenses for all civil servants, and we are also taking care of the medical expenses for frontline workers,” he said.
The government has since instructed that the bulk of its workers work from home in a bid to curtail the spread of COVID-19.
“We have said most government workers should work from home.
“You will recall that we said 15 per cent should report for their workplaces physically and that move is receiving huge support.
“But we realised that there is a need for more adjustments to cater for those who are going to work, risking their health and life to provide essential services to the people.
“As government we are very grateful for the sacrifices and effort being put by our workers during this period,” he said.
He added that negotiations were still continuing on a final agreement on improving civil servants’ terms of employment including their salaries and wages.