There will be a public scheme for disabled healthcare workers with lung covid after all. Minister Helder (Long-term Care) first wanted to set up a fund in collaboration with employers, but they did not want to cooperate.
“In the period of the first wave, a number of healthcare workers had frequent and intensive contact with COVID patients due to the provision of care, while little was still known about how the virus spread and what the exact risks of COVID infection were.” , writes Minister Conny Helder to the House of Representatives.
For the group of healthcare workers who have become incapacitated for work due to this wave, the government is now introducing a public scheme that deviates from the regular incapacity for work scheme for employees. What exactly this will look like and what amounts of money are associated with it is not yet known.
In the past year, 636 people from the healthcare sector were declared incapacitated for work with corona as the reason. It is unknown how many healthcare workers with lung covid are at home on benefits due to the first corona wave.
In December, Helder said that he wanted to set up such a special scheme together with employers, as advised by the Council of State. In the eyes of the Council, they were ‘the first liable party’. The government would then contribute to such a fund with a ‘maximised’ amount.
Unfortunately, that did not work out, regrets the minister in her letter. After employee organizations ‘thanked you for the consultation’, employers stated that they ‘do not want to participate and are able to work on a collective scheme’. According to them, the moral and practical involvement of employers are insufficient grounds for responding to the call for a collective scheme,” said the minister.
And so it is up to the cabinet to act, says Helder. “Of course, the cabinet still feels the urgency to provide additional support to a specific group of healthcare workers.” Despite criticism, she sticks to the original demarcation to only include healthcare workers who became infected with the corona virus in the first wave in the scheme.
Helder says he wants to inform the House about the details of the public regulation ‘as soon as possible’. However, summary proceedings that the FNV and CNV employee organizations have brought against the State regarding the arrival of such a scheme must be taken into account.
The unions FNV and CNV are now examining with their lawyers what Helder’s plan means for the lawsuit, but according to the spokeswoman for FNV, there is a good chance that the summary proceedings, which are scheduled for February 17, will continue.
The Senate called on Tuesday to put 150 million euros in a fund to accommodate healthcare personnel with long-term covid. “That amount makes a generous arrangement possible,” said FNV. The minister has trained a collective scheme “outrageously long at the expense of sick healthcare workers who have been fired”, the union believes.
Also listen to our podcast Politics Close, and subscribe via Spotify or Apple:
Watch all our videos about politics here:
Free unlimited access to Showbytes? Which can!
Log in or create an account and don’t miss a thing of the stars.