LNJP terminates employment of 51 contractual workers recruited during COVID-19 period

The Lok Nayak Jai Prakash Hospital (LNJP Hospital) in New Delhi has terminated the services of 51 contractual employees who were hired to manage the COVID-19 crisis in 2021 and were currently working as OT technicians and paramedical staff. The termination was carried out with immediate effect, leaving the workers shocked and unprepared. The hospital claimed that the termination was in accordance with a court order, but the workers disputed this, stating that the court order only allowed for the continuation of their employment until regular vacancies were filled.

Initially, the contracts of the affected workers were for 89 days in May 2021, but they were extended until December 2022. After this, the administration fired them. The workers then took their case to various courts, which allowed them to remain employed with the hospital. However, the Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT) on May 31 ordered that Delhi government-run hospitals could continue engaging these workers “as long as there is work available with the respondents (hospital and government) and/or till the vacancies are filled up on a regular basis.”

The workers claimed that the CAT order never mentioned sudden termination but re-engagement until regular vacancies were filled. They also stated that the court mentioned taking any consequential action within four weeks of receiving the order, which the hospital received on Sunday. The workers believe that their termination is unjust and resembles an arrangement of slave labor.

Dr Aviral Mathur, president of the hospital’s Resident Doctors Association (RDA), stated that the sudden termination will result in an acute workforce shortage and more work pressure on the existing workforce. Despite several attempts, no response could be received from the hospital regarding the termination.

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