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Steward Healthcare Denies Slashing Salaries Of Staff That Take Sick Leave, Threatens Legal Action Against Workers Union

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Steward Health Care has denied recent allegations of illegally deducting salaries of staff that take more than three days of sick leave.

On Friday, the UHM – Voice of the Workers accused the private healthcare company of only paying its staff for the first three days of sick leave. Consequently, those that took more had their salaries slashed.

The union said it was alerted of this after one of its members, after falling sick for a number of days, discovered reduction in their payslip.

It warned that Steward Healthcare, whose employees are paid by the government, is illegally profiting once again from state funding.

Steward Health Care said this was incorrect, stating that this particular situation was only relevant to Karin Grech Hospital, the salary accounts of which are handled by the government.

“The direction on how to pay for sick leave in Karin Grech Hospital was given by the Department of Social Security and this has been the case for many years,” it wrote in a statement, adding that Karin Grech’s management is only responsible for the computation of salaries, with the funding being provided by the government, through its own account.

“As a matter of fact, once the Department of Social Security pays for sick leave, following the first three days, any money remaining in the Karin Grech Hospital salary accounts stay with the government and not with Steward Malta,” it continued.

Moreover, it prepared monthly reports for scrutiny by the Ministry for Health, who has full visibility of payroll processes and all rights to audit Steward.

“There is no possibility for Steward to retain for itself money that the government has transferred for the payroll of government employees,” it added.

Steward finished by warning that it would take legal action against the union for these allegations.

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