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Joint Statement on the Covid-19 Pandemic in Personal and Household Services (PHS)

On April 1st, EFFAT, EFFE, EFSI and UNI Europa issued a joint statement on the current crisis.

In their joint statement, EFFAT, EFFE, EFSI and UNI Europa highlight the dedication of PHS provider organisations, private employers and workers in addressing the challenge of the Covid-19 pandemic. However, they expressed two concerns for the PHS sectors and call upon authorities to urgently take appropriate actions towards the sector. 

Firstly, given the nature of PHS which is to provide care and support to people, including to people who can be far more at risk to Covid-19 than the general population, the continuity of services must be ensured while guaranteeing the safety of PHS workers and users. In this regard, EFFAT, EFFE, EFSI and UNI Europa call authorities to - inter alia - : 

  • issue detailed health and safety instructions towards PHS workers, 
  • ensure access to appropriate personal protective equipment to PHS workers, 
  • avoid situations in which PHS providers find themselves in a situation where they are unable to continue to provide essential care services to vulnerable people, 
  • ensure sick leave and access to healthcare for PHS workers. 

On the other hand, due to self-isolation and containment measures, many PHS workers are going unpaid and the sectors face an unprecedent fall in their activity. Consequently, EFFAT, EFFE, EFSI and UNI-Europa underline the necessity to guarantee the economic safeguard of both the domestic and home care sector and its workers and urge public authorities to take actions. Therefore, PHS sectors' eligibility to measures aiming at mitigating the financial impact of the crisis must be guaranteed. The adoption of income substitution benefits for PHS workers must be supported and their access to clear information about their rights and social protection must be ensured. Particular attention should be given to the situation of migrant PHS workers.

Finally, EFFAT, EFFE, EFSI and UNI Europa stress that it is crucial to ensure that PHS workers will be able to resume their activity in adequate conditions once the crisis will be over. In this regard, the sectors must become a priority investment for recovery after the crisis. 

The statement has also been endorsed by IDWF (International Domestic Workers Federation). All signatories expressed their mutual commitment in implementing and sharing best practices aimed at protecting PHS workers in this time of crisis.

The full statement is available here