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Joint EPSU/Social Employers Statement on COVID-19 outbreak

March 26, 2020

Joint EPSU/Social Employers Statement on COVID-19 outbreak

The Social Employers together with the European Federation of Public Service Unions (EPSU), developed a joint statement on COVID-19 outbreak: the impact on social services and needed support measures.


The outbreak of  COVID-19 and its growing spread across Europe is putting a lot of pressure on the social services sector, adding to already pre-existing financing and staffing difficulties. Social services employers are facing major challenges that need to be addressed through actions from the EU Member States and the European Commission.

The Social Employers welcomes the initiatives undertaken by the European Commission so far in  the framework of a common European response to the outbreak of COVID-19. However, it is becoming clear that current measures are not enough to contain the threat the virus poses on care organisations and the 11 million social services workers in the EU, who are on a daily basis exposed to Covid-19 and the risk of an infection. As a consequence, this situation puts at risk the provision of essential services to millions of EU citizens in need of care and support.

To support the continuous care provision to older persons, persons with disabilities, children and other people in need of care, the Social Employers and the European Federation of Public Service Unions (ESPU), developed a joint statement addressed to the Commission and to Member States. In the statement, both organisations present a set of concrete  support measures, and highlight the need of action at all levels.

Those Measures include:

  • Ensure the continuity of care and support services and the stability of the actors involved in providing those services.
  • Guarantee remuneration and income support to all the care workers in the sector and prevent any loss of their jobs.
  • Equip care workers with adequate protection material.
  • Ensure that nursing homes and other residential care services have safety protocols in place
  • Facilitate social services’ access to EU and national funds
  • Secure, through national laws or collective agreements, the right to paid sick days, flexibility and other accommodations.
  • Provide support to ensure childcare is available for children of social services staff.
  • Make exceptions for care workers to cross the national borders

Read the full joint statement, available in:

English

French

German

Spanish

Italian

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