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    Coronavirus: safety of domestic workers not guaranteed

    © Belga

    The safety of workers who are paid with service vouchers can often not be guaranteed, the General Federation of Belgian Labour (FGTB) said on Thursday. 

    The pressure to return to work is great and employers are not sufficiently attentive to working conditions, the FGTB said.

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    Out of more than 4,000 domestic workers in an FGTB survey, 71% said that their customer is (sometimes or always) present in the room where they work. It is difficult to comply with the rule on social distancing of 1.5 metres, the people surveyed pointed out.

    More than half (56%) of domestic workers also said they could not reach their employer in case of a problem and 84% said they did not receive all the necessary protective equipment (mouth mask, disinfectant gel, gloves and tissues).

    The union had already made the same observations last month. “Our new survey has shown, once again, that domestic workers have to return to work without safety measures being respected,” he said.

    According to the FGTB, more than 75% of domestic workers have returned to work in the sector, mainly because of financial problems, fear of losing their jobs, or due to a demand from the employer or the customer.

    The Brussels Times