Switzerland’s Nestlé under fire for paying ‘coronavirus testing bonus’

Switzerland’s Nestlé under fire for paying 'coronavirus testing bonus'
Photo: FABRICE COFFRINI / AFP
Swiss food giant Nestlé is paying factory employees a ‘coronavirus testing bonus’ of 330 francs per month - but not those who refuse to get tested.

Concerned about the potential impacts of a coronavirus outbreak, Swiss food giant Nestlé has put in place a free testing scheme – which comes with a significant perk. 

Anyone who gets tested in the Nestlé factory in Wangen (Solothurn) will receive a 330-franc ($370/€305) coronavirus testing bonus per month. 

Anyone who refuses to get tested however, will also have to forego the bonus. The factory started the regular testing scheme – which uses PCR tests with throat or nose swabs – in November. 

According to Swiss media, employees at the factory are “angry” about the measure. 

“The employees are forced to get tested with money. If you don't do it, you won't get any money,” a source told Swiss news outlet 20 Minutes. 

A spokesperson from Nestlé told 20 Minutes that the policy was imposed nationwide, but not as a reward for coronavirus testing. 

The measure had been put in place to recognise the “commitment, flexibility and adaptability” of employees in the “special circumstances” brought on by the pandemic

The spokesperson said the measure “clearly did not correspond with our guidelines”. 

According to Swiss legal experts, the measure is lawful – provided of course the employees have a genuine choice. 

“If the employer offers a bonus and treats everyone equally and gives them a free choice (it is legal),” the legal expert told 20 Minutes. 

 

 


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