Sunday 29 November 2020

Steward Health Care Malta denies any illegalities on sick leave payments claims made by UHM

Steward Health Care Malta strongly denies any illegalities with reference to the claims made by UHM – Voice of the Workers in a statement the union issued on Friday. Steward Malta wishes to clarify that the union’s statements include various inaccuracies and unfounded allegations.

The situation described by the union with regards to alleged “illegal deduction of sick leave payments for government employees working at the three hospitals managed by Steward Health Care” is incorrect, as the particular situation is relevant only to Karin Grech Hospital government employees and not to those working in other Steward-managed hospitals like the Gozo General Hospital. Moreover, the matter pertinent to Karin Grech Hospital is the result of years of government legacy practices, and is not related to the taking over of the management by Steward Malta.

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. Steward Malta would like to clarify that Karin Grech Hospital 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 monies remaining in the Karin Grech Hospital salary accounts stay with the government and not with Steward Malta.

Steward submits 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. 

In view of the above, Steward Malta cannot accept that the union makes claims which are unfounded and reserves its right to take legal action in relation to such allegations. 

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