Home working pain in the neck, union calls for physiotherapy allowance

Shut down? Photo: Depositphotos
Not the right posture Photo: Depositphotos

People who work at home are suffering more aches and pains because their working conditions are far from ideal, and employers must take action, union CNV has said.

A survey of 2,500 union member shows that some 41% have more neck and arm problems since the coronavirus measures required them to abandon the office, while 45% said their home work station did not comply with health and safety norms.

‘The laptop is sitting on the kitchen table, or the chair is too low,’ CNV chairman Piet Fortuin told broadcaster NOS. ‘At work the screen is positioned at the right height but that is often not the case at home,’ he said.

The union wants employers to invest in the fitness of home-bound staff, for instance by providing them with the services of a coach or vouchers for sessions with a physiotherapist.

The cost of this would be compensated for by a fall in sick leave, Fortuin said. ‘More people have called in sick over the last few weeks and that is partly due to this type of complaints.’

The survey also showed that 61% of the respondents do not get any financial compensation for the extra money they spend because they are working at home, but 23% do get some support.

Last month, trade unions won a €363 annual payment for civil servants who work at home in their latest pay and conditions agreement.

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