Updated on 23 March 2021
By decree of 19 March 2021 (decree no. 2021-296), the public authorities ordered new health measures to deal with the Covid-19 epidemic in several departments, including the Ile-de-France region, resulting in a curfew between 6 a.m. and 7 p.m., except in cases of derogation.
Through this decree, the government introduces new travel restrictions.
In this context, the Ministry of Labour updated on 23 March the national health protocol prescribing a certain number of measures for companies to deal with the said epidemic.
Remote work (‘’télétravail’’)
The measure favored by the public authorities to limit social interaction remains remote work.
The public authorities intend to reinforce the implementation of remote work within companies for all tasks that can be realized at distance.
In this way, companies are obliged to adopt an action plan “for the coming weeks” to reduce the physical presence of employees in the company, considering remote workable activities. This action plan should be discussed internally in the framework of the local social dialogue.
In case of control, the actions implemented should be presented to the labor inspection.
It should be remembered that remote work has been increased to 100% for employees who can carry out all their tasks remotely. A physical return to the company one day a week is however possible for them, when they express the need, and the employer does not object.
If 100% remote is not possible, then the employer should take measures to limit social interaction, for example by staggering the arrival and departure times of his staff to limit peak hour traffic.
The employer should also ensure that surgical mask is worn in enclosed communal areas, although employees working in an individual office may be exempted.
The national health protocol then provides for new measures concerning the screening strategy.
People who show symptoms of Covid-19 are now required to isolate themselves at home “as soon as symptoms appear” and to be tested as soon as possible.
If they are not able to work at home, they can declare themselves off sick and receive social security benefits as soon as they report their symptoms, without a waiting period, but on condition that they carry out a PCR test within 48 hours.
People in contact with an infected person are invited to isolate themselves.
It is specified that those who have been contacted by the health insurance services within the framework of “contact tracing” will have the possibility of requesting a sick leave without a waiting period (‘’délai de carence’’), but on the condition that they carry out a PCR test within 48 hours.
The new version of the sheet on the organization and operation of company restaurant encourages the introduction of packed lunches to be taken away and consumed at the workplace for all or some employees.
Whether lunch is taken in the company restaurant or at the workplace, it is recommended that employees eat lunch alone, leaving an empty seat in front of them and respecting a rule of two meters between each guest, i.e. 8 m² around each employee.
In the same way as water fountains, bulk food offers should also be eliminated.
If there are company restaurants, the spaces must be reorganized, the trays must be prepared by the restaurant staff and the services must be staggered to reduce the number of employees present in the company restaurant.
Clarification on transport by vehicle
The employer is now required to limit “as far as possible the organization of transport of several employees in the same vehicle in the course of their work“.
If this mode of transport is necessary, the employees must wear masks, respect the rules of hand hygiene and the vehicle must be cleaned/disinfected and ventilated regularly.