On Monday, Solidarity made proposals calling for all employees who can work well to be allowed to return to work whenever possible.
“We run the risk that the economy will be irreparably damaged by a clumsy restriction, which would seriously impede our ability to fight the Covid-19,” said Solidarity’s chief executive Dr Dirk Hermann. “That is why it is critical that we deal smart with the restriction – that we allow and encourage healthy work as far as possible.”
Solidarity demands that the onus shifts from restriction from top to bottom that can prove that they can work well and keep customers healthy.
“Rather, there should be a strong bias for work – with all businesses that can work well allowed. Regulations can then highlight the exceptions that cannot work, rather than highlighting the exceptions allowed to work. After all, it is inconceivable that a minister will be able to effectively decide who meets requirements and who does not. A trust agreement is needed between the government and its citizens. We are fighting together – that is why the government must trust that its citizens will not only make the necessary sacrifices, but also use the necessary caution to address the crisis, ”Hermann explained.
According to Solidarity, all businesses must adhere to strict health regulations to manage the risk of Covid-19. If they can comply with the regulations, they must be able to continue with their activities.
Solidarity has drawn up a comprehensive code of good practice for healthy work that explains exactly how virtually all businesses can reopen given adequate health measures. Some of the proposals include extending business hours and allowing companies to hit full capacity while limiting the number of people on site.
“This code of practice should form the basis for regulations for healthy work, healthy workplaces and a healthy economy. The focus now has to shift to the balance between economy and health – we can both address this by working well, ”Hermann said.
These proposals from Solidarity are part of the government’s input on the restrictions that closed at 12:00 today.
Solidarity further suggests that the restriction of people’s movement should be much more decentralized.
“From government data, it is clear that not all districts in the country are equally affected by the virus – a smart restriction that allows citizens to move freely and work in low-risk districts, and rather tightens movement in high-risk districts are needed, ”Hermann argued.
“This is an unprecedented crisis, and our response to it must be unprecedentedly flexible and dynamic. A clumsy restriction that will not allow people to work healthy is going to do more harm than good, ”Hermann concluded.