This month: Opening back up your workspaces

Published on : 26/05/2020 26 May May 2020

A look at the major pitfalls in French Labor and Business law…and how to avoid them

This month: Opening back up your workspaces

With the relaxation of the lockdown in response to the Covid-19 health crisis, many workspaces (offices, shops) are now opening back up.

As the virus is still circulating, it’s not back to “business as usual” but rather in a new, prudent fashion.  

There are obvious health risks that need to be reduced to a minimum in order to avoid contagion. Employers must consider the safety and wellbeing of all workers, and remember that there are significant legal risk and consequences for those who would fail to uphold their health and safety obligations.

Recent French case law during the pandemic has been clear: businesses need to implement protective measures and prove that they have done so. Staff- representative bodies are to be involved in the process.

Here are some do’s and don’ts to use as a starter checklist when reopening for business. It is by no means exhaustive:

Do establish a “Sanitary Plan” that outlines the health and safety measures you will put in place in the workspace to limit the risk of contagion.

Do identify all the health and safety risks that workers are confronted to from arrival to departure from the workplace. Not just at their workstation.

Do not implement measures without informing and consulting the staff representatives

Do set out a new work schedule allowing for employee rotations.

Don’t allow the workspaces to become congested or crowded (a minimum of 4 sq meters per employee is advised by the Government).

Do provide for all necessary health and safety equipment, which may include masks if the social distancing of 1 to 2 meters is not possible.

Don’t expect workers to provide their own safety equipment.

Do inform and train the employees on the proper health and safety measures.

Don’t forget to keep a written record of the trainings that you provide

Do continue to allow for remote work, if possible.

If your employees are working remotely:

  • Do remember that the rest of the employment contract largely remains unchanged

 

  • Don’t forget to allow for disconnection times

 

  • Do be aware of the psychological and emotional consequences that the situation (and forced remote work) can have on employees.


Flichy Grangé Avocats can assist you with every step necessary to ensure your company’s safe and compliant return to work.

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