5 April 2020, Sunday, 20:03
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Laws on ‘Parasites’: Hundreds of Thousands of Families Will Be Left Without Sick Leave

Laws on ‘Parasites’: Hundreds of Thousands of Families Will Be Left Without Sick Leave

Travesty of people has taken a dangerous turn in Belarus.

Charter97.org wrote about the story of Alesia Harbatsenka, a resident of Babruisk, and it caused a great resonance.

An officially employed woman was denied a childcare sick leave (her child is 7 years old) because her husband works abroad, i.e., according to Decree No. 3, he is a "parasite".

Recently, it became known that relatives of "parasites" are officially denied sick leaves. It turns out that in early 2019, the resolution of the Ministry of Labour and the Ministry of Health (NO. 1/1 of January 4, 2018) came into force, according to it, Belarusians of working age, who are not employed and not registered as unemployed, as well as their closest relatives, are issued only a certificate of temporary disability, not a sick leave.

Harry Pahaniaila commented on the situation for Charter97.org.

- How much is this decision of the Ministry of Labour and the Ministry of Health constitutional?

- Unfortunately, I haven't read the resolution itself yet, so I can't judge how much it contradicts the Constitution and international treaties of Belarus in human rights.

But I can say for sure about some moments.

Each working Belarusian automatically pays contributions to the Social Security Fund (SSF), which provide for compensation of inability to work caused by a health condition, including cases when a mother has a sick child.

In the case of illness of a minor child, neither the Ministry of Health nor the Ministry of Labour can prevent an employed parent from sick leave; let alone associate it with the status of another parent, if they do not know who can actually take care of a sick child.

And these data are not available to the health authorities and, especially, to the staff of the Ministry of Labour. After all, according to the law, spouses may not live together. After all, due to circumstances, many citizens are forced to go to work not only abroad, but also to leave the area they live in. It means that this parent cannot look after a child who is ill and needs help.

Therefore, every employed person, regardless of the position of another spouse, has the right to a paid sick leave. And the mother from Babruisk, and all others who found themselves in such a situation, have faced violations of their legal rights.

And it's pure unadulterated mess to tie the issuing of sick leaves to so-called "parasites". I believe that the unconstitutional approach has led to the division of our citizens into "employed and not employed in the economy".

Neither the Constitution nor any other law provides for this division. There are no requirements for participation in the economy and there can be no such requirements.

Given the paragraph of the Constitution, everyone should be treated equally (including the care of a sick child); such restrictions are unconstitutional.

Should doctors exercise functions of the police?

Therefore, all these instructions of the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Labour regarding "parasites" contradict both the Constitution and common sense.

- What could you say about the fact that the rights of the entire family of a "parasites" are infringed? Doesn't it remind you of the notorious "a member of the family is the people's enemy"?

- This phrase can be applied to the situation, although I am not a supporter of such thickening of colours. In any case, the right must be exercised reasonably and fairly.

The second principle is to ensure equal treatment for all who find themselves in such a situation. Otherwise, it's a differentiated approach and direct or indirect discrimination of a part of our citizens.

Therefore, the state should avoid such division of people based on the availability of official work, and the word "parasite" itself.

After all, most often people who have lost their jobs (because of the difficult economic situation) and now are seeking it are labelled as a "parasite". But they do not want to be officially registered as unemployed. They are, according to the laws of Belarus, "parasites".

Why? On the contrary, they are very ideological and active strata. The state itself has built a wrong system of unemployment registration. Many people do not want to register, because it means miserable payments, hard public works.

Therefore, today official unemployment is 0.3-0.4% in Minsk. If it's real unemployment, why is the state so concerned about these "not involved in the economy"? It means that these figures are a blatant lie.

Therefore, when they announced that they had "counted and shed tears" - half a million people are included in the database of "parasites" - we have received figures that show a real situation with unemployment. We can say that the real unemployment in Belarus is 10-14% of our labour force.

- Does it mean that it's every seventh Belarusian of working age? And his family may face denial of sick leave in a polyclinic?

- Yes, of course. The approaches our government use always lead to infringement of rights of the most vulnerable strata of the population.

According to Decree No. 3, one of the parents (mainly women, because they are the ones who go on parental leave and run the household) is at risk of being labelled as a "parasite" with all that it entails.

In addition to the increased utility bills, it entails no social assistance in case of a child's illness and no hospitalization. It means deterioration of the economic situation in such a family.

Is this care for families and children, which Lukashenka constantly talks about? On TV, the authorities are allegedly concerned about demography and encourage women to "give birth more often". It sounds controversial. They take away the last from the family facing hardships.

People are now not only being charged with additional payments but also deprived of social cake crumbs in the form of sick leave. Lukashenka has created an absolutely barbaric state, which neglects its citizens, but thinks about budget replenishment, because the rotten economy generates anti-human approaches.

And they will come up with an ideological motive and justify it: like an insulting word "parasite" and so on.