Government to compensate families of migrant workers who die of Covid-19The kin of every migrant worker who dies abroad get Rs 700,000, authorities clarify.
Chandan Kumar Mandal
The kin of Nepali migrant workers who die due to Covid-19 while working abroad will also receive compensation from the government, officials said.
Existing government policy says that if a worker with valid permit dies abroad due to any reason his/her family is eligible for compensation; the provision applies to those who die of Covid-19 as well.
“If a worker having a valid labour permit dies of any reason while working abroad, their family receives financial assistance from the government,” said Rajan Prasad Shrestha. executive director at the Foreign Employment Board, the government body responsible for migrant workers’ welfare. “Therefore, if any Nepali worker dies of Covid-19, then the affected family will automatically be entitled to government support.”
The board, which also works on policy interventions for the welfare of migrant workers, provides free vehicles to ferry bodies of the deceased. The family of a deceased worker receives Rs700,000 from the Migrant Workers’ Welfare Fund managed by the board.
The board also grants financial assistance to critically-injured Nepali workers and foots treatment bills for those suffering from 15 critical diseases within one year after returning home from work.
Every year, hundreds of Nepali migrant workers die due to various illness, road accidents, workplace accidents and other reasons. Last fiscal year, 753 Nepalis died abroad. The previous year, the figure stood at 821.
“Even the kin of those who commit suicide receive government support. That’s why in the case of Covid-19, we don’t have to pass a specific decision,” said Shrestha.
Nepal’s major labour destination countries in the Persian Gulf, Malaysia and South Korea have been under the grip of the Covid-19 pandemic, raising concerns about the spread of infections among Nepali workers as well. That they live and work in overcrowded and squalid surroundings, makes them more vulnerable to coronavirus infections.
According to data maintained by Non-resident Nepali Association (NRNA), at least 47 Nepalis have been reported Covid-19 positive as of April 10 in the Gulf region alone. A Nepali worker reportedly died of the disease in the United Arab of Emirates.
Besides getting government support, families of migrant workers who die abroad also receive insurance money.
“The insurance claim can be up to Rs1.4 million based on the nature of death and the insurance package,” said Shrestha. “We don’t know yet if the worker dying of Covid-19 will get anything from their employer too. But they will surely receive support from the Nepal government and compensation from insurance companies.”