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COVID-19 Precautions and Its Effect on the Work Life of Refugees
April 2020 Bülten

COVID-19 Precautions and Its Effect on the Work Life of Refugees

Corona Virus COVID-19 started to effect Turkey as of 14.3.2020. In the beginning, all the protection arrangements were lighter but day by day it has gotten harder. All schools are closed, all restaurants, cafés, clubs, department stores, shopping malls, barbershops, government offices, municipality registration offices, business centers and plazas are closed or working with fewer employees. Many people started working remotely from home like many countries in the world. Then it is getting harder and harder, every bank branches are working only one employee for urgent transactions, except food and health goods transportation all the logistic activities stop, there is a curfew for age groups 0-20 and 65+, it is forbidden to travel another city in Turkey, all local transportation decreased to half and people cannot use the vehicles full, all private companies forced to work less people by shifts and etc.

After one week from the first announcement of the government, UW also start their protection arrangements as well,
•    Stop accepting trainees to the offices after 20.3.2020
•    Stop accepting candidates for interviews to the offices after 20.3.2020
•    Bought masks, gloves, and disinfectants for all the offices of UW.
•    Increased the cleaning of the offices from 2 to 3 every week.
•    Start Shifting at the offices after 23.3.2020. (Every day different 3 employees at HQ Şişli Office and 1 employee at each branch office shifting up to now and till the curfew order announcement.)
•    Trainers prepares online training modules between 23.3.2020-3.4.2020 and start to provide online trainings to the potential refugees by using Zoom Software program starting by 6.4.2020.
•    Recruiters prefers to make interviews online by using Teams Program and prepares their consultant reports to the companies online starting by 23.3.2020. On the other hand, they are advising to the companies to make their interviews online with the candidates.
•    Business Development managers stop face to face meetings, and they are doing online meetings with the companies which are still open.
•    Work Permit officers had 2 solutions. The first solution is visiting the companies and making their application at the offices of the clients. They stopped this by 23.3.2020 but they still serving the companies online by using TeamViewer Program like before.
As you mentioned UW is taking care of its responsibility for the colleagues of UW and the refugees who lives in Turkey. The solutions and services of UW are changed according to the reality of the market but never stop up to now.

Naturally, UW expecting and thinks to face with some problems after COVID-19 Virus and it will affect the labor market of the refugees who lives in Turkey.

•    World is changing, none of the companies are working 100% of their potential, they will not hire new employees and they are closing their vacancies because they cannot see their future clearly.
•    Many new people will be unemployed after this crisis and not only Turkey’s economy the world’s economy will be faced with recession. As you know the jobs that Turkish Employees doesn’t want to work are a good opportunity for the refugees in Turkey. This potential will be less in the future. It will be hard to find a job opportunity for a refugee…
But there is a big reality still existing, over 4 Million Syrian refugees are living in Turkey and they need support more than before COVID-19. They cannot reach the regular job opportunities as they reached before the virus.

In this crisis the role of United Work is more important than before. The labor market, economy and the practices of the market will change but the 4 Million Syrian Refugees are remaining. Supporting Syrian Refugees in Turkey is more important than before. Pandemic is affecting groups those who are already vulnerable even harder. Culturally and financially, refugee group has preferred larger households. This is now a more important than ever time for the refugees to be supported and kept at work with decent pay and legal rights along with health and security precautions. Not only for the vulnerable group but for the host community and health & wellbeing of all parties.