Queretaro, Qro. Small businesses face one of the most complex periods in their productive activity, in the face of the increase in infections by Covid-19, labor absenteeism and the worst January cost in 20 years, according to the Querétaro delegation of the National Chamber of Commerce. Small Business (Canacope).
These factors have generated “the perfect storm” around the recovery sought by the commercial sector after the onslaught of the pandemic, which has begun to impact sales and productivity of establishments, said the president of Canacope in Querétaro, Sergio Martinez de Leon.
Currently, the chamber reports 25% absenteeism, out of a workforce of around 54,000 workers (1.8 employees for each of the 30,000 affiliated businesses), that is, about 13,500.
According to the leader, people who have not been diagnosed with Covid-19, but had contact with an infected person, isolate themselves for periods close to seven days; while people with confirmed contagion are absent for about 10 days.
Some employers, he acknowledged, do not respect the incapacity of workers and demand remote work; for this reason, he urged employers to respect the rights of their employees.
“If a person has Covid-19, they are on disability, they will not work on those days. There are companies that do not see it as a disability and require home office; We are urging the employer to be sensitive because many are taking it lightly, like a simple flu, but they can present serious symptoms,” he declared.
In this environment, he said, there have also been cases in which a Covid-19 positive worker physically shows up to work and chains of contagion are generated.
“We detected that if the owner of the business says: if you have symptoms or come, it is not necessary for you to show me the disability by the IMSS, you isolate yourself. But outright there are business owners who force them to go (…) What we do is the reminder not to violate the rights of workers and that we can get out of this situation as soon as possible, “he said.
The behavior that the disease has had in commercial establishments and the rise in infections that the entity is experiencing could indicate that the highest peaks of the disease have not yet been reached, so, he added, absenteeism could increase in the next weeks.
Grocery and product storage stores are the ones that have been most affected by these reasons.
For the Querétaro delegation of the National Chamber of Commerce, Services and Tourism (Canaco Servytur), the level of absenteeism is around 18% (14,400 people) of the nearly 80,000 employees employed by the almost 20,000 affiliated businesses in the state.