The branches most affected by the coronavirus pandemic launched a popular initiative on Wednesday to settle the question of compensation during epidemics. They are supported by all the main parties, with the exception of the Liberal Greens.
The initiative was announced just over a year ago. The Epidemics Act allows strict measures to be taken to protect the health of the population, but during the Covid-19 crisis, “there was a lack of a comprehensive concept on how to compensate those affected”, said Casimir Platzer, president. of GastroSuisse, in front of the media in Bern. He pointed to a “patchwork” of measures, federal and cantonal.
Consequence: the actors affected were compensated insufficiently and far too slowly. “We are grateful to the Confederation and the cantons, but there are gaps to be filled,” Platzer continued.
According to him, a national solution is needed to know who and when to compensate, and to clarify the responsibilities of the different state levels. In addition to the hotel and catering umbrella, many associations of traders, event organizers or cultural players have therefore launched the initiative “For regulated compensation in the event of epidemics”, also called the initiative on compensation.
Their text demands compensation for companies, freelancers and intermittent cultural actors in the event of an epidemic. Compensation should be awarded to those who are significantly economically affected by a temporary measure enacted by the authorities.
“The compensation initiative ensures regulation before the next epidemic and thus avoids delays in the event of a crisis”, explained Omri Ziegele, president of Suisseculture. “We don’t know when the next virus will arrive, Switzerland must prepare as well as possible,” added Christoph Kamber, president of EXPO EVENT.
The initiative would not result in overcompensation, assured Severin Pflüger, deputy director of ASSOCIATION DE COMMERCE.swiss. “Only uncovered costs and loss of earnings will be compensated.”
Regulation in this area would provide legal and planning certainty, and would avoid pushing establishments “to the brink of ruin”, added Claude Ammann, president of the Swiss Federation of Fitness and Health Centers. He clarified that the text does not define the financial means to pay these compensations, it would be up to the government and parliament to decide.
The initiators also want to clarify the right to partial unemployment. The simplified procedure and the summary count must be introduced during epidemics.
The collection of signatures began on Tuesday. The initiative committee has until September 29, 2023 to collect the 100,000 initials required. Like any popular initiative, it would be enshrined in the Constitution, but the committee is aiming for an adaptation of the law on epidemics.
Project by the end of the year
The Federal Council intends to present a revision of this law by the end of the year. A global revision of the legal bases is necessary to also take into account institutional issues, social policy or even those related to the country’s supply.
The subject has also already been discussed at length in Parliament. The Chambers seem divided on the issue. The National unanimously adopted a motion to clarify the issue of compensation in the law on epidemics, while the Council of States largely rejected a similar text earlier. The senators line up behind the government, believing that the process should not be rushed.
“Despite the existence of a broad cross-party alliance, there is no guarantee that Parliament will have drawn the necessary conclusions when revising the law on epidemics,” said national councilor Aloïs Gmür (Center / SZ) , also president of SwissDrink. The state would benefit from this initiative, he said. “It ensures jobs during the crisis and a better economic recovery afterwards.”
This article has been published automatically. Source: ats