Netherlands: FNV signs agreement with employers on COVID-19 risk management

14 April 2020 13:31

The FNV-Bouwen en Wonen, BWI’s affiliate in Netherlands, recently closed an agreement with construction employers on how to manage COVID-19 risks in workplaces. This was after the union conducted a survey covering 1,300 construction workers asking their opinion on working amid a pandemic.

The agreement, which was the result of negotiations with employer associations and the Ministry of Housing, stipulates the following:

1. Work can continue in workplaces provided that all workers agree to it and necessary health and safety precautions are put in place, such as safe group transportation and social distancing of 1 ½ meters.

2. A "corona supervisor" must be appointed to each construction site, whose task is to monitor employers’ compliance with the said agreement.

3. Creation of a Help desk Corona mobile app designed to provide the latest information to construction workers and collect best practices of COVID-19 risk management. It will also act as a free messaging platform between workers and employers.

Based on FNV’s survey, a third of the worker-respondents said that they are organised into unions and feel safe enough to continue working during the crisis. Another third said that they do not feel safe, while the rest said that they are unsure.

Zamaney Menso, FNV’s Dutch regional representative and co-chair of BWI’s ad hoc working group on occupational health and safety (OHS), said that they are pleased that construction workers have taken the lead in safeguarding the health, safety and welfare of people at work during the global health crisis. He said that they will monitor the implementation of the agreement and keep a close watch on worksites.

For more information, please click the link: FNV on COVID-19