Social Employers’ Webinar: Covid-19 & employers' responses

On 20th March the Social Employers hosted a webinar to discuss about the initiatives developed by social services employers to respond to the Covid-19 outbreak in the sector.

Due to the challenges that the COVID-19 is presenting to the social services sector, the Social Employers asked members and partners to provide an overview through a survey, of their responses at national level.

The webinar allowed Social employers’ members and partners to share current developments and some relevant initiatives and practices to tackle COVID-19 challenges for the sector.

Sylvain Renouvel, Director of the Social Employers, opened the session with the presentation of the survey answered from April 6th to 10th by 14 organisations from 10 EU countries (PL-GR-AUT-FR-CZ-L-D-B-PT-LT). The survey which focused on the care provided to children, persons with disabilities and elderly people, provides an overview on five major challenges for the sector and the initiatives undertaken at national level.

This was followed by the intervention of Mathieu de Poorter, from UNIPSO (Belgium), who introduced the main outcomes from the survey realised to UNIPSO members and enterprises in Belgium. The presentation focused in the proposals concerning occupational & beneficiary safety and health, Staff & administrative management and financial support.

Then Diana Chiriacescu from FONSS (Romania), presented the impact of COVID-19 in social services in Romania and their measures to respond to the crisis in the sector. Moreover, it was highlighted the need to create a National Social Fund for emergency response and for the post crisis development for both users and service providers.

In a following discussion, the Social Employers introduced the joint letter sent to the Commission together with EPSU asking to develop the awareness in all Member States that social care and support is key to face the outbreak and has to be prioritiSed in relevant measures to protect staff and beneficiaries as providing personal protective equipment and tests.

After a presentation of the European roadmap lifting COVID-19 containment measures, participants exchanged information and experiences on the impact of COVID-19 in social services sector in their countries and on the actual state of play, pointing out measures and initiatives to face the crisis.

Supporting documents

Social Employers & EPSU joint statement, here.