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At the end of last year, the social partners in care and taxi transport agreed on a new collective labor agreement. In recent weeks, work has been done on finalizing the new collective labor agreement texts. These texts are now ready and adopted by the collective labor agreement parties CNV Vakmensen, FNV Taxi and Royal Dutch Transport, Care Transport and Taxi. The new collective labor agreement will be presented to the ministry to be declared universally binding. The collective labor agreement came into effect on January 1 19, whereby the new paid time system will take effect on March 1 19. As soon as the collective labor agreement has been declared generally binding, the collective labor agreement will also apply to companies that are not affiliated with KNV.

After the parties reached an agreement on 19 October, a there are differences of opinion about the precise formulation of the rewarded time. Due to further consultation, this difference of opinion has disappeared in the recent period and agreement has been reached on the wording as it eventually ended up in the collective labor agreement texts.

Wage scales, salary steps and other name

The salary scales are as of 1 January 4632 increased by 2.5 percent. In addition, the second step will be removed from the salary scale, so that drivers go through the wage structure more quickly. Finally, in order to do more justice to the sector as a whole, the name of the collective labor agreement has been changed from ‘cao Taxi transport’ to ‘cao Care transport and Taxi’.

The texts of the new collective labor agreement can be found on this page.

Following the most recent corona measures and the advice on healthcare transport from the RIVM , KNV Healthcare Transport and Taxi have developed the healthcare transport protocols together with the trade unions. re-examined. This has led to some adjustments. The most important of these is the re-introduction of the maximum occupancy rate of two thirds (2/3) of the vehicle’s capacity in the care transport protocol.

The introduction of the maximum capacity of 2/3 was previously included in the protocols (June 2021). The provision about 2/3 occupancy does not apply to situations in which passengers come from the same residential setting (for example, a family or a living group).

Student transport sector protocol

The most important adjustment in the student transport protocol is that 4- year-olds with cold complaints can join if they have taken a self-test with a negative result. This follows the test policy as it has been in effect since December 3. The maximum capacity has not been reduced in the sector protocol for student transport.

Effective date 1 January

The amended protocols will take effect no later than January 1st 2022 (or as sooner as is possible in the implementation). A reconsideration moment will follow in mid-January. The protocols can be found
here.

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As a result of the new corona measures, KNV Healthcare Transport and Taxi have examined the healthcare transport protocols together with the trade unions. There was also contact with the Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sport and several chain partners. This has led to some adjustments, in particular in the sector protocol for care transport for children and young people up to and including 12 years.

The biggest change is in the protocol for student transport up to and including 12 year. KNV and the trade unions have included in this that all students in special (primary) education wear a non-medical mouth cap in transport. This differs slightly from the advice regarding wearing face masks at school. Employers and employees believe that the safety of drivers is best served in this way. In addition, from a practical point of view, it is often impossible for transporters and drivers to determine exactly in which group a particular student belongs. The usual exceptions apply to students who are unable to wear a face mask for medical reasons.

Since this measure may require some preparation time for carriers, clients and parents of children, this adjustment will take effect on Monday 6. December as in or as sooner as possible.

The following changes have also been made to the protocols:

The 1.5-meter measure was formulated as urgent advice, but that is now the rule again. This is particularly important for carriers at business locations. The distance obligation of 1.5 meters does not exist in the vehicles themselves (see art 6.5 of the Temporary Regulation on measures covid-19 (overheid.nl)). Furthermore, it is ‘ snotte bubble policy’ adjusted in accordance with the guidelines of the RIVM, which in short means that 4-12 year-olds may no longer be (even) transported in case of mild cold complaints.The modified protocols can be found here4589.

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The corona crisis has taken a heavy toll on the healthcare transport sector. One of the consequences of this was that staff (sometimes out of necessity) left the sector, because many journeys were canceled for a longer period of time. Now that the demand for healthcare transport has increased again, the sector is struggling with hundreds of vacancies that are difficult to fill. This not only concerns drivers, but also support staff such as dispatchers, supervisors and mechanics. The shortage is increasing to such an extent that companies indicate that they can no longer do rides on time. Some companies indicate that rides are in danger of being canceled altogether. This includes trips to hospitals, healthcare institutions and educational institutions.

At the peak of the corona crisis, transport volumes in, among other things, Wmo transport and in the Regiotaxi significantly reduced. In daytime transport and seated patient transport, the volumes were many tens of percent lower than before the crisis. Healthcare transport companies were hit financially as a result, despite the generic support measures and the fact that various clients assisted financially where possible by compensating part of the canceled journeys. Some of the staff left the sector due to the lower transport volumes. On the one hand, because the support measures were not always sufficient to keep all the staff (including many flexible staff) in service. On the other hand, because personnel stopped working or were able to find work elsewhere.

Now that the transport sector has recovered somewhat, the sector is confronted with a major shortage of personnel. The number of reports of illness is also increasing due to the increase in corona infections. A problem that is difficult to solve for the carriers, which may mean that not everyone can be transported in the future. Customers already sometimes have to wait longer than agreed for the taxi that will take them to day care or to the hospital, for example.

KNV chairman Bertho Eckhardt is very concerned about the size of the this problem: ‘Nationally speaking, we see hundreds of vacancies that are difficult to fill. This means that extra staff is already being called upon within companies, but that is not always sufficient for the large peak of transport in the morning and the afternoon. We see that entrepreneurs are making adjustments in consultation with clients to prevent rides being cancelled. This requires a great deal of effort and creativity from the companies in order to be able to serve customers as well as possible. We notice that entrepreneurs are really up for grabs. Fortunately, most clients understand the situation. This is a good business. But of course the passengers in our taxis experience the real problem. They can no longer always be transported on time, or they are no longer driven by their regular driver. This is a major problem for a vulnerable target group.’

KNV, together with the entrepreneurs, is looking for solutions to the problem in various ways. Unfortunately, the staff shortage will not be solved overnight, as it also occurs in other sectors such as healthcare and the catering industry. The industry therefore mainly asks for understanding of the situation. Bertho Eckhardt about this: ‘It is not ill-will that the companies cannot always meet the transport demand when customers want it. Healthcare carriers are part of the healthcare chain and constantly monitor the interests of the customer. However, we have now ended up in a situation where we are sometimes no longer able to meet the customer’s wishes. Entrepreneurs are really upset about that.’

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Friday 12 November, the central government decided to reintroduce a number of corona measures, such as the one and a half meter measure. KNV Healthcare Transport and Taxi and Bus Transport Netherlands have examined whether the corona protocols should be adjusted as a result of the (re) new measures. This is not the case. The protocols remain the same

The most recent corona measures can be found here.

The state aid for the continued payment of journeys not driven in target group transport due to the corona crisis has been extended. It applies for the period from 13 October 2020 to October 1 2020.

Following the national call to make regional and local payment agreements in target group transport, the government has submitted a third coordinated notification of state aid to the European Commission. The Commission has approved this notification.

Support may be granted under conditions to transport companies for target group transport. Since the aid has also been approved under the Temporary Support Framework (TSK), the conditions for granting it are the same as for the previous period from 1 July 2020 to October 2020.

Click here for more information about the extension of the state aid for target group transport

Last week, relaxations were also announced for healthcare transport. As of today, 18 September 2021, the capacity of a care transport vehicle can be fully utilized again. This was urged by KNV Healthcare Transport and Taxi, because the maximization of capacity in combination with a driver shortage resulted in the accessibility of healthcare transport coming under pressure. It is still mandatory – barring exceptions – to wear face masks in healthcare transport. KNV Healthcare Transport and Taxi has adjusted the protocols based on the relaxed guidelines.

The sector protocols go into effect today and can be found here. One of the most important principles in the care transport of persons aged 18 years and older will not change. Driver and travelers must still wear a medical face mask. The rules regarding wearing a mouth cap will also remain in student transport.

KNV Care Transport and Taxi is happy with the further relaxation. As society opened up more and more, the demand for healthcare transport rose again. Due to the capacity limitations in the protocol, sometimes the demand could no longer be met (see also here). This was an undesirable situation because of the social importance of healthcare transport. After all, healthcare transport is an important link in the healthcare chain, for example for transport to hospital treatments. With the relaxation as of 18 September, the sector will have a little more elbow room.

2021

The corona crisis has taken a heavy toll on the workforce in the taxi sector. Many drivers were forced to leave the sector. However, now that the demand for healthcare transport is increasing again, the sector is struggling with vacancies that are difficult to fill. KNV Zorgvervoer en Taxi entrepreneurs’ association recognizes the problem and is working with others on various initiatives to recruit healthcare transport and taxi drivers.

As in other sectors, the corona crisis hit the healthcare transport and taxi sector hard. The transport volumes in WMO transport and in the Regiotaxi were decimated. In daytime transport and seated patient transport, the volumes were many tens of percent lower than before the crisis. As a result, healthcare transport companies suffered considerable financial blows, despite the generic support measures and the fact that various clients assisted financially where possible by compensating part of the canceled journeys.

Now the crisis has reached its peak seems to be and transport volumes are rising again, another problem is unfolding: a major shortage of care transport drivers. KNV chairman Bertho Eckhardt about the extent of this problem: ‘Several full-time vacancies for student transport in The Hague, but unfilled. Group transport drivers in the Eindhoven region. Vacancies in Mijdrecht, Apeldoorn, Utrecht, Groningen. You could almost say: where not? Eckhard continues: ‘The many vacancies are often a recurring image after the summer holidays due to changed contracts. We also saw an increasing shortage of drivers before the corona crisis. But this year it is clearly different. Drivers looked around during corona and found another job. Now that the situation has turned like a leaf on a tree, vacancies can therefore no longer be filled, not even by people who previously entered the sector, for example, through agencies such as UWV.’

The association of entrepreneurs is currently looking for solutions to the problem in various ways, but is also concerned about the continuity of transport. Eckhardt about this: ‘I am already hearing stories about tricks such as modified timetables to give carriers the opportunity to get everyone to school on time. Hopefully those emergency solutions offer the desired space and we can move forward in this way. However, it remains important that sufficient drivers arrive quickly before rides are cancelled. This problem will not be solved overnight. KNV and its members are therefore committed to solving this problem for as long as necessary so that all transport can continue. But at the same time, we also ask for understanding for situations where force majeure causes problems.’

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