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

Utter shocked by the order, the terminated workers said they didn’t receive any prior intimation about the action.
The LNJP Hospital in New Delhi.
The LNJP Hospital in New Delhi.Photo | Express

NEW DELHI: Lok Nayak Jai Prakash Hospital on Monday terminated the services of 51 contractual employees who the hospital hired to manage the COVID-19 crisis in 2021 and were presently working as OT technicians and paramedical staff with immediate effect.

Utterly shocked by the order, the terminated workers said they didn’t receive any prior intimation about the action. Like other days, they worked with their respective departments during the day and received a termination notice when their duty ended.

“...the paramedical staff contractual as per the list enclosed, working in various departments of Lok Nayak Hospital are discontinued w.e.f. 01.07.2023. Non-compliance of this order will be viewed seriously and if any person is found working in the respective department, the concerned official in charge shall be held responsible for the same,” the termination notice read.

The hospital cited the pursuance of a court order behind the action.

Initially hired for 89 days

The contracts of the affected workers, initially hired for 89 days in May 2021, were extended until December 2022. After that, the administration fired them. The affected party went to different courts, which allowed them to remain employed with the hospital.

However, the Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT) on May 31 ordered that the Delhi government-run hospitals can 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 till the vacancies against their posts were filled through regular recruitment drives. They also stated that the court mentioned taking any consequential action within four weeks of receiving the order, which the hospital received on Sunday.

“Our termination is not in complete accordance with the court order cited in the notice. The hospital ended our service contract without waiting or giving us any notice. This is unjust and looks like an arrangement of convenience on lines of slave labour,” said Mohd Zainuddin, who was working as an OT technician.

Dr Aviral Mathur, president of the hospital’s Resident Doctors Association (RDA), said the sudden termination will result in an acute workforce shortage and more work pressure on the existing workforce.

No response could be received from the hospital despite several attempts.

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