500 care workers face redundancy after developing Long Covid

500 care workers face redundancy after developing Long Covid

Photo: depositphotos Photo: depositphotos

SINT MAARTEN/THE NETHERLANDS – Over 500 healthcare workers face losing their jobs because they are suffering from Long Covid and have been on sick pay for the regulation two years, according to the FNV trade union federation.

In total 1,850 healthcare workers contacted an FNV hotline about the issue, which was opened in December.

The public health institute RIVM estimates 238,000 healthcare workers caught coronavirus and, the FNV says, most of the Long Covid reports they have had come from people who work in nursing homes or as home nurses.

The FNV and fellow union federation CNV have for some time been urging the cabinet to set up a fund for healthcare staff who have suffered financially after developing coronavirus during their work.

In particular in the early days of the pandemic, proper protective clothing was not available for some workers. Permanent employees are paid at least 70% of their salary for two years if they become unable to work through ill health, although some employers increase this to 100%.

After two years, however, they can be sacked and then have to claim invalidity benefit (WIA). In some cases that will be half that of their original salary, the FNV says. Freelance and contract workers are in an even more difficult financial situation.


Last week, MPs voted in favour of a motion which calls on the government to formally recognise Long Covid as an illness and which will ensure all nursing staff are entitled to invalidity benefits.

The government has asked the national health council to make recommendations about how to deal with Long Covid which will be published in the first quarter of this year.

That report will specifically look into the the situation facing healthcare workers and their income if they develop Long Covid, a health ministry spokesman said.


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