Belgian city fires call centre employee who helped friends and family jump the vaccination queue
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Belgian city fires call centre employee who helped friends and family jump the vaccination queue

Credit: Belga

The city of Diest in Flemish Brabant fired a staff member who, as an employee at the vaccination centre’s call centre, illegally booked an appointment for colleagues, friends and family members, according to a press release on Tuesday evening.

Disciplinary investigations are underway against three other staff members.

The city established on 4 May that irregularities had occurred in the bookings made by some staff members at the call centre of the Den Amer vaccination center in Diest, and launched an investigation, reports De Standaard.

“The city of Diest expects a correct and honest attitude from its staff at all times. Such actions are diametrically opposed to the values that the city wishes to disseminate,” the press release said.

After a hearing Tuesday evening, the city council decided to terminate the employment contract of the staff member with immediate effect due to a breach of trust and proven facts.

During the initial proceedings, a second case emerged which showed that another staff member also had arranged appointments for several people from professional and private circles. A similar hearing for that staff member will take place on Wednesday.

In total, 15 irregular bookings were identified. Eight more irregular reservations have since been deleted from the vaccination schedule.

This is not the first time that people have been wrongly given priority in the vaccination process in Belgium.

In the municipality of Sint-Truiden, Mayor Veerle Heeren is facing an investigation after she allegedly helped people in her immediate circle, along with herself, get vaccinated more quickly than they should have been able to.

The Brussels Times