It will be a great reassurance for parents that on Friday evening during the press conference of the cabinet, they were told that the schools will remain open, at least for the time being. But if a classmate of your child has tested positive, or the teacher, sometimes the whole class has to go home.
You can’t just leave your child 4 or 11 alone for a whole day, so what do you do and that doesn’t cause any problems for the employer?
“Almost everyone at our office works from home. We have provided a good workplace,” said Karin van der Pol, spokesperson for ING Bank. A maximum of five percent of the approximately 15,000 permanent employees have to go to the office because they have a crucial position, she says.
Employees are therefore also flexible. They can discuss within their team how they can organize their work, depending on the situation their partner is in, says Van der Pol. “And if employees who work largely in the office because of the nature of their work, have to stay at home with their children, we will see if a colleague can come to the office,” says Van der Pol.
‘Making a presentation in the evening’
It is also flexible at ABN Amro. “Employees report to their team if their children have to stay at home and then a solution is found together. We all know that it is a time where we can face situations like this,” says Jarco de Swart, spokesperson for ABN amro.
If you don’t get to work well during the day because of your children, you can do your work at other times, that’s no problem. “You can also make a presentation in the evening. And if you work a little less, that’s no problem either.” At ABN Amro, just like at ING Bank, almost everyone works from home.
Swap or exchange services
But you can’t just work from home everywhere. At DAF Trucks in Eindhoven, for example. But that does not lead to problems, according to spokesman Rutger Kerstiens. “Together with the employees, we look at what is possible. Office employees work from home as much as possible and for colleagues in production, exchanging or changing shifts can be an option and sometimes a day off, ADV or care leave is taken”, let Kerstiens know.
When assembling trucks, DAF works in two shifts. Other factories also work through the night. In the Netherlands, more than 6000 people work in production at DAF Trucks.
“This requires extra flexibility from both employer and employee, and we all try to offer it as much as possible,” says Kerstiens. Employees can also be deployed in other places within production, he points out. According to him, this has not yet resulted in production or volumes having to be adjusted.
‘First get the home situation in order’
Another company where it is difficult for many employees to work from home is ASML, which builds machines with which chip manufacturers such as Intel and Samsung produce chips. Of the approximately 15,000 employees in Veldhoven in North Brabant, about 3000 cannot work from home, says Monique Mols, head of media relations.
“But the home situation is just as important as work. Employees must first get their home situation in order. We trust colleagues to arrange this among themselves. We fully understand people with children.” According to her, this has not led to problems in production at ASML.
Unions: no complaints
According to the trade unions, employers and employees are also very successful in coming to terms with each other. “I have not heard any complaints yet,” says spokesperson Mariëtte van Dijk of the FNV trade union.
And Bart Jochems, press officer (ai) at the union de Unie, says he has not yet received any signals that it could not be arranged properly.
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