Policy paper: The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the HoReCa sector and measures for maintaining and creating jobs

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On January 28, The Labour Institute, member-organisation of the Moldovan National Platform presented the HoReCa policy paper, containing the position of the sector representatives on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the HoReCa sector and measures for maintaining and creating jobs. 

The document was developed within the Advocacy Plan of the National Platform of the Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum.

Main findings: 

  • The HORECA sector is one of the most affected sectors of the economy, the economic activity of the enterprises in the sector being reduced by over 80 %;

  • The consequences of inactivity are characterized by the reduction of staff and the accumulation of debts;

  • The number of economic agents that have introduced innovations in its activity is quite small, being implemented only the requirements imposed by the authorities aimed at combating the Covid-19 infection;

  • A relatively large number of economic agents described the measures taken by the state as having no impact on their activity;

  • Half of the respondents do not know or cannot digitize the activity they carry out;

  • Half of the respondents could deliver services remotely or do online sales;

  • A large number of economic agents are interested in implementing processes that would save resources;

In order to ensure a positive development of the sector, it is necessary to overcome the problems encountered by the implementation of several actions by the main actors of the sector (specialized central public administration, employers, employers’ associations, trade unions, etc.):

  • The HORECA sector requires a special approach in the state policies of activity restriction, being correlated the dangers of infection with Covid-19 with the specifics of the activity, but also with the economic profitability;
  • The decisions taken by the government should be more specific and discussed with the sector representatives;

  • The sector needs policies with a direct impact on economic units (subsidizing employers to pay wages in order to maintain employment relations with them, state guarantees for credits taken during this period, tax holidays, preferential loans, cancellation of fines);

  • There is a need to restore the mechanism of meal vouchers, as well as their extension to the budget sector. Moreover, it is necessary to apply the vouchers for other services, such as health recovery for those who have been infected with Covid-19;

  • It is necessary to create the production chain for the whole sector, as there is an interdependence between the HORECA sub-sectors (hotels, restaurants, cafes / catering), including tourism;

  • Public authorities should provide greater assistance to companies to implement the processes of digitization and expansion of online sales, the creation of electronic platforms for the provision of services by economic operators in the sector;

  • Guiding the economic units in the sector to implement the principles of the “green economy”;

  • Increasing the volume of services provided at a distance, including for vulnerable people (elderly people, single mothers with children) in the context of social entrepreneurship;

  • Developing and improving the cohesion between the economic units in the sector by creating professional associations representing them.

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The position document is prepared with the support of the National Platform of the Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum through the Re-granting scheme of the Civil Society Forum and is funded by the European Union as part of the support granted to civil society in the region.

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