As the number of corona infections at work is increasing rapidly, companies must be stricter about who can or cannot come to the office. In sectors where working from home is not possible, employees with complaints – such as a cold and sore throat – must stay at home. But that does not happen everywhere and that is a worrying development, say CNV and FNV.
The unions are increasingly receiving phone calls from worried employees. According to the unions, especially in supermarkets, pressure on personnel is increasing, as in distribution centers.
NOS Stories asked supermarket employees about their working conditions (see box below). A large majority indicate that they should stay at home in case of complaints. But there are also dozens of people who say they have to keep working. Many of them say there is otherwise a shortage of staff.
Box filler Vera (17) recently suffered from a cold from the nose. “I called the day before and my boss said I could just come. If you’re coughing all day, you should stay home. But I’ve had a cold for a while, and then you’re just expected on the floor.”
“You notice that flex workers, including many young people and foreign employees, think faster: I will continue to work anyway, because imagine that I stay at home and lose my job,” says CNV chairman Piet Fortuin. “The slow test pace doesn’t help either. People go to work anyway, while it is wiser not to.”
FNV also says that employers are increasingly dealing with cold complaints. “You can also see this in transport and healthcare. People are ‘allowed’ to report sick there, but in exchange for vacation days. Very undesirable.”