The COVID-19 outbreak so far has already extensively impacted many of the activities carried on by UDES, France. The organization represents the employers of the social and solidarity economy in the country.
The closing of schools and cessation of activities for all structures welcoming children have been affecting largely the animation sector as well as all the providers of services destined to children.
Furthermore, one of the main challenges so far identified is to maintain treasury and overall financial sustainability. A call was issued to the “Caisse des Dépôts et Consignation”, the French public investment bank, in order to seek for the necessary additional support.
The impacts on home and healthcare are, evidently, even higher. The sectors are facing the unprecedented challenge to ensure the continuity of their services’ provision, under the constraints of required isolation. The main objective for these sectors at the moment is to protect employees during their mission, ensuring that they do not become vectors of the virus. Consequently, constant dialogue with the Health Ministry to obtain surgical masks and general safety equipment have been actively maintained throughout the outbreak.
The care giving sector suffers, until this day, from a lack of visibility given the tasks it delivers in the context of the COVID-19 crisis. However, its well-functioning is vital to overcome the pandemic, since it is directly dealing with the protection of the most vulnerable group to contagion. Guaranteeing that homecare systems can be safely carried on is indispensable to relieve the rising demand hospitals have been facing.
Some of the concrete demands that UDES have been putting forward are:
- The abolition of fiscal and social deadlines for at least three months.
- The establishment of a compensation fund for enterprises forced to restrict or suspend their activities.
- The attribution of the so-called “force majeure” or “natural disaster” qualification for the damages linked to the cancellation of activities/events in the private sector due to the epidemic.
- The preparation of a recovery plan in the form of aid to companies (advance payments recoverable over a long period to avoid the risk of default) paid according to well-established and coherent criteria.