updated: 26th of August 2020
I’m not back to work yet, what do I have to do?
You will have to provide us with a certificate justifying your absence. We will contact you by phone and letter.
I am scared of getting the coronavirus or of infecting my (older) clients. Do I have to go back to work?
We insist that you can work safely and in a safe working environment. The restart can only take place if you and your clients agree to our prevention and safety policy.
If you and your client comply with all safety regulations correctly, the risk of contamination is very small.
I have no childcare for my children, do I have to go back to work?
All nursery and primary schools reopened beginning of June or have been required to provide emergency childminding services. Crèches are open again as well.
Ask your office to issue a certificate that you are required to go back to work and can no longer look after your children yourself.
If you decide to stay at home with your children and not return to work, you will have to take a holiday and you cannot claim temporary unemployment.
I (or someone in my family) have (has) symptoms of – or have (had) — COVID-19 in the last 14 days. Can I still go back to work?
No, you cannot go to work in such a case.
In order to be able to start work again, there may have been no case of infection – or symptoms of possible infection — in your family in the last 14 days.
Do I have to take extra measures to go to work?
We find it important that you can work safely and in a safe working environment.
Before you can start, you will be contacted by one of our staff. They will inform you about our safety regulations. Your customers will also be informed about the extra measures they need to take to guarantee safety.
Will I receive protective equipment from Plus Home Services?
If you and your client comply strictly with our safety regulations, you do not need any extra protective equipment. We will make such equipment available to those who want it.
Collecting and using protective equipment is optional, certainly not mandatory, at the office. Please make an appointment with one of our staff.
• The gloves are reusable and should be maintained as you would wash your hands correctly: wash thoroughly with soap and water and then dry with paper or a clean towel.
• In a first phase, we will provide one pair of reusable gloves for each home carer, which you must keep with you at all times (do not leave them with the client).
• The mouth masks are reusable and should be washed daily at 60°. It is recommended keep them in a clean way during the day. We advise using paper: an envelope, wrapped in paper, etc. Mouth masks are not intended to be worn during cleaning when the rules of conduct apply, but they are to be used when going to and from the customer. The same mask can therefore be used for a full day.
• The mouth mask is made of 65% polyester and 35% cotton. It is a three-layer mask, washable up to 90° (minimum 60°). A mouth mask without a replaceable filter has been chosen because we care for the environment and work in a sustainable way.
• Every home carer with a contract of less than 32 hours will be issued 2 mouth masks.
Every home carer with a contract of more than 32 hours will get 3 mouth masks.
You can pick up the following additional protective equipment at the office as of 15/6:
1 pack of 15×20 paper tissues
1 pack of 150-200 paper towels
2 pairs of gloves (total)
1 500m-bottle hand alcohol with pump.
The dose per disinfection amounts to 1 pea-sized amount to be applied to the palm of your hand and then rubbed into your hands until they are dry.
Can the client require me to wear a mouth mask and gloves?
No, the customer is not allowed to require this. Please refer them to the office on this matter.
I am at work and fall ill. What happens now?
For the days on which a client has been booked, you will receive your guaranteed wages. For the days covered by force majeure, you will be entitled to a sickness benefit through the mutual health insurance company.
You must bring the sickness certificate in on time in accordance with the existing illness procedure. Please note that you can also send the illness certificate to your office electronically, on condition that you provide us with the original certificate also.
View our instructions sheets and the steps you must take if you fall ill here. During the coronavirus period, the inspecting physician may come along and you have to observe certain safety measures, including wearing a mouth mask.
I am leaving for a trip soon or have just got back from a trip. Do I have to observe certain extra measures?
The most recent travel advice about your destination is posted on the website of the government. Avoid travelling to destinations in areas marked Red or Orange. If you return from such a Red or Orange area nonetheless, a visit to your doctor is recommended (and mandatory in case of a Red code) to determine which preventive measures should be taken. If the doctor decides that a quarantine period is advisable or mandatory, make sure you ask him or her for a quarantine certificate. In such a case, do not forget to notify your office in good time without fail so that they too can take the necessary measures to prepare your schedule in due course.
I am at work, but have to go into ‘quarantine’ preventively because I have come into contact with an ill/infected person or because I return from a Red or Orange area. What do I have to do?
You must bring the ‘quarantine certificate’ in on time in accordance with the existing sickness procedure. Send the certificate preferably by electronic means or drop it in our mailbox.
For these days of absence, you will be entitled to unemployment benefit due to force majeure.
Consult our instruction card also on this matter (available here).
Will I be tested before I go to work?
No. The government has established a procedure for testing for infection. We are not authorized to do so.
Will my customers be tested for COVID-19 before I go to work
No. The government has established a procedure for testing for infection. We are not authorized to do so.
I have doubts about some situations with clients. Whom can I contact?
If there are problems with a client (e.g. a high-risk patient, a client who is demented, a client who does not comply with the safety rules…), please contact the office immediately, so we can assess the situation in a customized way and with respect for everyone’s privacy.
You can reach us also via chat. Our experts will be on hand to answer all your questions every working day from 7:00 am to 7:00 pm. Go to www.phservices.be and ask your question.
I am pregnant. Can I go to work during the coronavirus crisis?
Yes, of course, but you have to abide strictly by the safety rules.
Can I carry out all tasks at the client as before?
Yes, of course, on condition that you comply strictly with the safety rules. Here are a few tips:
– Always flush the toilet with the lid down to avoid any splashing.
– Don’t forget to wash your hands after changing your customer’s bedding.
– Wash your hands thoroughly also after emptying the bin, even if you are wearing work gloves. Please refer to our safety sheet which explains how to wash your hands properly
– Always take your work gloves with you from your customer and store them somewhere safe. Your customer is not supposed to use the gloves.
I have a bus pass, but I have to cycle to work due to the current circumstances. Do I get a reimbursement for this?
No, the existing regulations concerning your transport expenses remain in force.
Can I start with new customers or do a replacement post?
Yes, but only on the condition that these customers have also agreed to our safety regulations.
Can I refuse replacements or new customers because I don’t think it’s safe?
New customers as well customers who want a replacement also have to agree with our safety regulations. In that way you can work in safe conditions. If you decide not to work for these customers after all, you will have to take a holiday and you cannot claim temporary unemployment.
Can I reach my office during this period?
We will remain available during office hours by phone and (preferably) by e-mail for any questions or problems. Our employees work behind closed doors and only by appointment because of the strict safety regulations.
Can I bring my vouchers to the office?
You are requested to deposit your service vouchers and all other documents in the letterbox of your office.
In urgent cases, you can make an appointment with an office staff member. Make sure that you comply with the safety regulations concerning social distancing, hand hygiene and the rules concerning sneezing and coughing. And don’t forget your mouth mask!
I have resumed work partially. Do I have to apply for temporary unemployment again?
If you had already submitted the C3.2 employee-coronavirus form to your payment institution (trade union or welfare fund), it will remain valid until the end of your temporary unemployment or when you resume work partially. If you still have questions on this matter, please contact your trade union or welfare fund.
When or how will the unemployment benefit be paid?
The payroll office of Plus Home Services will send the necessary documents to the payment institutions (trade union and welfare fund) at the end of the month. The institutions will pay the temporary unemployment benefits as promptly as possible on the basis of those documents.
Will I receive an advance payment?
You do not receive an advance for temporary unemployment as you have not worked.
If you have already started up again in May or at the beginning of June, you will receive an advance payment.
Who pays for the public holidays during the period of temporary unemployment?
The public holidays that fall after a consecutive period of 14 days of temporary unemployment due to force majeure are paid by the payment institution.
What about my pension rights, holiday allowance and year-end bonus?
Periods of temporary unemployment are assimilated for your pension calculation. In other words, you accrue pension rights also during a period of temporary unemployment. The same applies to your holiday entitlement and holiday pay for the subsequent year: temporary unemployment has no effect on this.
The rules are different for calculating the end-of-year bonus: force majeure unemployment is not included in the calculation.
When will I receive my holiday allowance for 2020?
The holiday allowance was already paid in May. If you have not received your holiday allowance yet, please contact the National Annual Holiday Service: myholidayallowance.be.
Do you have any questions about your unemployment benefit?
We advise you to keep well informed by contacting your payment institution (ABVV, ACV, ACLVB or the unemployment benefit fund). They can inform you perfectly about your specific situation.
I have reduced my work schedule under credit or career interruption. Can I combine this benefit with benefits for temporary unemployment?
Yes, cumulation is allowed. You can be placed on temporary unemployment in your adjusted work schedule. The normal rules will apply. You are regarded as a voluntary part-time employee and are therefore entitled to half-time unemployment benefits. However, we advise you to keep well informed by contacting your payment institution (ABVV, ACV, ACLVB or the unemployment benefit fund). They can inform you perfectly about your specific situation.
Can I stop my career interruption / time credit period early?
You are not entitled to terminate your career interruption or time credit early. This is only possible by mutual agreement with the employer and under certain conditions. The career interruption/time credit may not be terminated early for the sole purpose of being placed on temporary unemployment.
Can I take coronavirus parental leave?
• You must be employed for at least 1 month
• Work at least 28.5 hours per week in order to reduce your work time by ½.
• Work at least 38 hours per week in order to reduce your work time by ½ or 1/5.
• You must apply at least 3 days in advance.
• You need your employer’s permission.
Discuss this matter with an office staff member first so that we can draw up a new personalized schedule.
For more information, please go to the website of the National Employment Office: https://www.rva.be/sites/default/files/coronavirus/FAQ_CPC_NL_20200514.pdf
What happens to my holiday which had been planned during the period of temporary unemployment due to force majeure?
Given the many requests we received to cancel holidays during the period of temporary unemployment, all holidays during this period will be converted to Temporary Unemployment due to Force Majeure.
During this period of temporary unemployment, you will receive an unemployment benefit of 70% of your gross salary. You will receive an additional allowance of €5.63/day.
If you have not yet applied for a holiday before the summer period, it is best to do so as soon as possible.
What about my holidays scheduled from May onwards?
These holidays simply remain as planned. If you want to make changes, please always do so in consultation with the office.
What does Plus Home Services do for me now?
As an employer, we work very hard every day to keep the company on the right track.
• We have written several open letters to the government asking them to support our sector as much as possible in these times. You can read them on www.cvd19.be. We will continue to work hard to that end.
• We are working on a safe restart for everyone.
• We are working on clear guidelines on safety and prevention and are informing everyone, employees and customers.
• We remain available to answer your questions by phone or e-mail.
I am struggling financially. What can I do?
The government has taken a number of measures to limit your personal expenses in the times of the coronavirus. You can consult an overview of these measures that may also apply to you here.
You can also contact one of our staff on 03/210.17.76. They will look for a solution together with you.
I am having a hard time psychologically. Where can I turn to?
The following hotlines are always available for counselling
• 1712: Violence hotline
• 1813: Suicide hotline
• 106: tele-counselling
Didn’t find an answer to your question? No problem. You can always visit our offices between 8:30 am and 1:00 pm and 3:30 and 5:00 pm. Make sure you make an appointment first! You can also reach our live chat every work day, from 7:00 am to 7:00 pm via www.phservices.be