Student workers to reduce work pressure in residential care homes
Flemish Minister of Welfare, Public Health and Family Hilde Crevits plans to reduce the workload in residential care homes by deploying student workers, she announced Tuesday. Retirement homes can employ one student for up to eleven weeks on average, or eleven working students for one week each, with funding from the Flemish government.
In addition, residential care homes will receive compensation for the lower occupancy rates during the first quarter of 2022. This way, the care centres can remain financially healthy and ensure service to their residents.
“In the first months of this year, corona was still present in our residential care centres, there was a slightly lower occupancy rate and staff turnover. Our day care centres were also affected. The staff often worked overtime and were unable to take much time off. This is why, until 30 September, we want to offer residential care centres the possibility of recruiting job students in order to reduce work pressure”, explains Crevits. “Furthermore, for the first quarter of this year, we are again providing compensation for the lower room occupancy so that the quality of care is not compromised.”
"Our day care centres were also affected. The staff often worked overtime and were unable to take much time off."
For the period from 1 January 2022 to 30 September 2022, Flanders has earmarked funds for an average of one working student for a period of 11 weeks per residential care centre. It is also possible to, for example, hire 11 working students for 1 week each. A remuneration of 17,18 euros per hour has been set aside. These working students will mainly carry out on logistical tasks.
Lower occupancy rates due to COVID-19 have lead to reduced income for residential care centres. Since the beginning of the pandemic, this has been compensated and will now again be compensated for the period from 1 January to 31 March 2022. Facilities can submit their exact occupancy figures to the agency and, based on those figures, receive a certain amount of financial compensation. Such an arrangement also applies to day-care centres.
Flemish Minister of Welfare, Public Health and Family Hilde Crevits plans to reduce the workload in residential care homes by deploying student workers © BELGA PHOTO JAMES ARTHUR GEKIERE