Influx of elderly care falters | free press

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Berlin (dpa) – Despite the shortage of skilled workers in the elderly care sector, the industry was able to recruit significantly fewer employees in the corona year 2020 than in previous years.

Employment growth was cut in half, as evidenced by a response from the Federal Employment Office to a request from the Left in the Bundestag, received by the German Press Office in Berlin.

The sector had about 629,000 employees at the end of 2020, 10,000 more than at the end of 2019. This corresponds to a 1.6 percent increase in social security contributions. In the previous year, the increase was still a good 3.1 percent. A year earlier, it was even just under 3.3 percent.

Refuse alarming sign

Left-wing MP Pia Zimmermann, who had made the request, emphasized that the increase in employment in elderly care has not yet been able to change staff shortages and work pressure. A decline in growth alone is therefore an alarming sign, says Zimmermann of the Dutch DPA.

The additional burdens in healthcare institutions as a result of Corona are not the only reason for the collapse of labor dynamics. Because in 2020 there was a consistent decline in the number of employees from January to July – even before the start of the pandemic in the spring. In previous years there was only such a decrease in the individual months.

A comparison with nursing shows a different picture: The number of employees also increased in the past year. The increase in 2020 was 3.2 percent, after 2.6 and 1.7 percent in previous years.

Call for a commission

Attempts to politically combat the shortage of skilled workers in the elderly care sector have had only moderate success in recent years, according to Zimmermann. As an example, the politician cited the “13,000 jobs program” launched in 2019, which with nearly 3,000 jobs so far falls short of expectations, she said, referring to the umbrella association of health insurers.

Zimmermann called for resolute countermeasures for a growing number of employees – including with the participation of Caritas and Diakonie as major operators of healthcare facilities. Zimmermann suggested that a committee of experts, including the participation of the two church organizations and the service union Verdi, meet in the summer. There is no escaping adequate collective labor agreements and their solid financing.