Saturday 01 April 2023

Court rejects mass compensation claim for health workers with long Covid

Photo: Depositphotos

Two trade unions have lost a legal fight to secure almost €23,000 in compensation for healthcare workers who have been on long-term sick leave with coronavirus.

The FNV and CNV unions sought an injunction demanding the payments for long Covid sufferers who were infected during the first wave of the pandemic, from March 2020.

They argued that staff should receive the same compensation as people who were unable to work after developing industrial illnesses.

The district court in The Hague ruled on Wednesday that the claims could not be settled through a collective action, but must be considered individually on their own merits.

The court also rejected the unions’ demand to force the Dutch state to negotiate a settlement for sick workers, saying there was no legal basis for doing so.

Around 1,000 staff in hospitals, care homes and other institutions have been declared unfit to work after contracting coronavirus in the spring of 2020, causing their income to drop by around 50%.

Healthcare workers were exempt from many of the quarantine rules in the early months of the pandemic because the government feared the system was on the brink of collapsing.

Long-term care minister Conny Helder said last month that the cabinet was working on financial support for affected workers.

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