Government Issues New Safety Protocol for Businesses

Published on : 01/07/2021 01 July Jul 07 2021

The French Ministry of Labour has once again updated the company health protocol in order to specify the rules applicable in order to assist employers in making telework more flexible, allowing face to face meetings, and the return of social moments in the company.

1 - Regarding telework
The limit of one day in person can now be exceeded. Since 9 June, companies have been able to envisage a return to face-to-face meetings for their employees.It is not a question of returning to face-to-face work five days out of five, but of lifting the rule authorizing on-site work only one day a week and on condition that the employee is voluntary. 

The protocol continues to stress that "telework can be considered as one of the most effective measures to prevent the risk of SARS-CoV-2 infection in order to protect workers' health, in accordance with the first principle of prevention set out in Article L. 4121-2 of the Labour Code, which consists in avoiding risks to health and safety at work". 

But it makes the terms of telework more flexible by allowing the employer to set "within the framework of local social dialogue, a minimum number of days of telework per week, for activities that allow it", based on the national interprofessional agreement (ANI) of 26 November 2020. 

2 - The return of face-to-face meetings 
Although audio or video-conference meetings are still to be preferred, the Ministry of Labour accepts that they can be held face-to-face as long as the barrier measures, in particular the wearing of masks, the ventilation of the premises and the rules on distancing are respected.

3 - The return of office events limited to 25 people 
Companies will once again be able to organize social events for employees in person, subject to certain conditions.

Companies will have to: 
-    ensure strict compliance with barrier measures, in particular the wearing of masks;
-    provide for ventilation measures; 
-    ensure that the rules of distancing are respected;
-    ensure that these moments of conviviality are held in outdoor areas;
-    and that they do not bring together more than 25 people.

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