Employers annoyed by school closures to stimulate working from home
Employers' organizations VNO-NCW and MKB Nederland are annoyed by the government's tactic of closing schools to force parents to work from home. "This is bad for the children, for the parents, and for the economy," a spokesperson for the organizations said to ANP.
Health Minister Hugo de Jonge told NOS that improving compliance with the work-from-home directive was one of the factors behind the decision to close schools as part of the five week-long lockdown the Netherlands just started.
According to VNO-NCW and MKB Nederland, this forces families in which both parents work to take part of their workday off to take care of their children. "We have been calling on employers for some time to let staff work from home. Doing it in this indirect way does not have our approval. There are also other, less drastic measures possible than leaving children at home with study delays."
The employers' organizations previously called on the government to test pupils en masse in order to keep schools open. They now hope that testing capacity will be used in a targeted manner to prevent the need for future lockdowns.
"We will continue to talk to the cabinet. Let's use the time until January 19 to really ensure that we can open again, and not just when the weather is nice," the spokesperson said to the news wire.