Since the announcement of a new nationwide lockdown was made by the President of the Republic on October 28th, the Ministry of Labor, in a new health protocol published on the evening of October 29th, has provided additional details on the outlines concerning the period starting today and on the measures companies must take in this context.
Home working is the rule; on-site work is the exception.
The Health Protocol updated by the Ministry of Labor on October 29, 2020, states that home-working “must be the rule for all activities that allow it”. It specifies that the working time of employees must be 100% remote working as long as the tasks to be performed can be done remotely.
In any case, if home-working is difficult or even impossible to implement, companies must adapt the organization of employees’ work to reduce their home-to-work travel and organize their time spent at the company, with the goal of reducing social interactions. In addition, companies must systematically smooth out employees’ departure and arrival times in order to limit peak-hour traffic.
Companies are invited to set applicable rules for home-working and organizing on-site work as part of the local social dialogue. In particular, they must ensure that links are maintained within the work group and prevent the risks associated with the isolation of employees working remotely.
Suspension of face-to-face meetings and “convivial moments” in the professional environment.
The health protocol specifies that “audio or videoconference meetings must be the rule and face-to-face meetings the exception” and that “social gatherings of face-to-face employees in the workplace are suspended”.
The health protocol requires companies to inform their employees of the existence of the “TousAntiCovid” application and encourage them to activate it during working hours.
On October 9, 2020, the French National Authority for Health issued a favorable opinion on the use of antigenic tests to detect Covid-19. These tests, which are faster than RT-PCR tests, provide results in 30 minutes. They do not require laboratory analysis.
The health protocol specifies that companies can propose to their employees, on a voluntary basis only, screening actions using these antigenic tests.
The protocol specifies, however, that these screening actions must be fully financed by the employer and must be carried out under conditions ensuring the strict preservation of medical confidentiality. No test results may therefore be communicated to the employer or its employees.
Regarding the other measures provided for in the Health Protocol established by the Ministry of Labor, please see our articles “The Ministry of Labor unveils its new health protocol!” and “The Ministry of Labor updates its sanitary protocol! »