Speeding up vaccination ‘the’ measure that will end the crisis, businesses say
Wednesday, 24 March 2021
Speeding up vaccination is “the” measure that will save lives, but also the economy, jobs, education, the health care system and people’s social life, the Walloon Business Union (UWE) said on Wednesday.
According to the UWE, the measures taken by the authorities are a “new blow” for many companies.
In addition to demanding that the various governments extend or even review the measures and support mechanisms in force, the union also expects the authorities to look at the infection statistics and the places where the infections take place.
The employers’ organisation is aware that teleworking has an important role to play in preventing the circulation of the virus, and insists that its members scrupulously respect the rules in this area, and the health measures if this solution is not practicable in their company.
Interviewed on RTBF, Olivier de Wasseige, managing director of the UWE, acknowledged a certain laxity in the application of telework.
“It is a human reaction on the part of employers to say that their employees are suffering,” he said, adding that it was now necessary to return to a “very firm” situation.
In a statement, however, the union called on the authorities not to burden with more administration, as controls on compliance with the telework obligation will now be stepped up, and employers will have to keep a register of who is at work and when. “A totally excessive measure,” Wasseige said.
“Let’s not add complex and untested constraints and systems to a situation that is already extremely complicated with stretches resources,” he added. “Let’s trust companies in their ability to comply with directives without having to prove it all the time, with controls there to verify it.”
Wasseige also questioned the usefulness of such a measure, as “companies are not the main place where clusters of infection develop,” Wasseige stressed, disputing some of the figures mentioned by Federal Health Minister Frank Vandenbroucke.
For the Walloon employers’ organisation, vaccination is the decisive element that will accelerate the end of the crisis and relieve the pressure in hospitals.
Therefore, the union invites the various authorities to continue their efforts to further increase the efficiency of the vaccine rollout and speed up its implementation.
“Being in the middle of the European pack [for vaccination rollout] is clearly not enough to exempt us from today’s measures,” Vandenbroucke added.