Member of Parliament for Nadowli/Kaleo, Anthony Sumah Mwinkaara, has raised concerns about the condition of casual workers in Ghana especially in public health facilities across the country.
He explained that due to the human resource inadequacies in public health facilities, management of these facilities have resorted to engaging persons to fill the vacancies.
These employees, he said, are often characterized as casual or temporal staff and remunerated from the internally generated funds (IGF) of these facilities.
In a statement he delivered on the floor of Parliament Tuesday February 8, he said “The category of staff mostly contracted under such schemes are non-clinical and generally referred to as support service staff made up of administrative or clerical staff, maintenance personnel, orderlies, drivers and security/watchmen among others.
“The inability of the Ministry of Health (MOH) to formally employ qualified personnel to fill existing vacancies but rather rely on health facilities to engage temporal staff is accordingly attributable to the Ministry’s inability to secure financial clearance from the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning. “Therefore, the burden of filling the vacancies and the concomitant cost of maintaining these personnel is shifted to the respective health facilities where such temporary staff render services.
“Mr. Speaker, the core of my submission is not limited to the financial burden these health facilities have to bare, but rather the abuse of the rights of these workers. Mr. Speaker, these employees have been engaged for periods between 6 months to 20 years and beyond and are yet characterized and treated as casual or temporary staff in contravention of the laws of this country.
“In section 75 (1) of the Labour Act, 2003 (Act 651) and reinforced by the supreme court ruling in Benjamin Aryee & 691 others Vs the Cocoa Marketing Board, it is provided that such employees whose services are continuously used by the employer for periods exceeding 6months should be deemed as permanent workers and be entitled to all benefits associated with it.
“Unfortunately, Rt. Hon Speaker, the converse is the case as these persons are still illegitimately considered by the facilities where they serve as casual/temporal workers and denied the appropriate entitlements. Mr. Speaker, it would also interest you to know that this phenomenon is very pervasive as virtually all health facilities under the ambit of the MOH across the country are involved in this practice with thousands of people affected.”