[COVID-19] How to act towards employees ?

Information current as of the date of publication of this article.

In the face of the spread of the Covid-19 Virus, employers must be vigilant to ensure the physical and mental safety of their employees.

The Social and Economic Committee will, of course, have to be involved in the steps taken, some of which require its prior consultation.

The main measures that need to be considered are summarized below:

  1. Assessing risks

In particular for employers with establishments in the most sensitive areas and/or with employees who have to travel to or from these areas.

The identification of risks will give rise to the implementation of appropriate measures (suspension of travel, isolation of employees returning from the most at-risk areas, provision of means of protection and implementation of information procedures).

This assessment of risks and prevention measures should lead to an update of the single risk prevention document.

  1. Implementing appropriate prevention measures
  • – Circulate an information note to the staff on the preventive and hygiene measures to be respected;
  • – Provide employees with antibacterial solutions;
  • – Regularly ventilate and disinfect the premises and work areas;
  • – If necessary, consult the occupational physician for recommendations, especially if employees are particularly concerned;
  • – Limit international travel and postpone it if it is planned to take place in areas at risk;
  • – Repatriate employees on temporary assignments abroad;
  • – Suspend any event that brings together a large number of employees in a confined space;
  • – Set up teleworking: in case of a pandemic, the employee’s agreement is not required (specify in writing to the employee the reasons for teleworking and the planned duration);
  • – Modify the dates of paid leave if they are already taken, or pay off the RTT paid leaves and recovery days if allowed by the collective agreement that put them in place.
  1. In the event of economic difficulties related to the situation

If the company’s activity plummets due to the epidemic, recourse to part-time work may be a solution under certain conditions (significant absence of employees making it impossible to continue working, closure of the establishment by the public authorities, ban on taking public transport, etc.).

The members of the Employment Law Department are available to answer any questions on this subject.