Sanctions against companies resistant to teleworking from next week?

Faced with the second wave of the coronavirus epidemic, teleworking “Is an obligation”, insists the government since Friday and the establishment of a new confinement. Faced with the many companies which are reluctant this time to make full use of remote work, the government is raising the tone.

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Sanctions should begin to fall from next week, according to information from BFMTV. The news channel reveals that the Minister of Labor Elisabeth Borne should “Raise awareness” major French groups in the coming days. She would have started to contact CEOs and HRD associations to remind them to apply the new national health protocol in companies.

“All those who have teleworking tasks, and there are a lot of them, must telework five days out of five”, she again recalled Tuesday at the microphone of Europe 1.

Sanctions proportionate to the situation

The checks of companies by the labor inspectorate should begin next week, with sanctions established according to the risks incurred by employees, the quality of social dialogue and the situation of the company.

BFMTV details the different levels of sanctions envisaged:

  • a letter of observation,
  • a report to the company management (Direccte) so that it can issue a formal notice to the company in question to regularize the situation within a given period,
  • a summary judgment,
  • an offense report sent to the public prosecutor.

The national protocol to ensure the health and safety of company employees, posted online on October 30, specifies that “In the current exceptional circumstances linked to the threat of the epidemic, teleworking must be the rule for all activities that allow it. In this context, the working time carried out teleworking is increased to 100% for employees who can carry out all of their tasks telework ”.

“The protocol was posted online Thursday evening. Let’s leave a minimum of time for companies to organize themselves. It’s a test week, and with my services, we are monitoring the implementation of teleworking very closely. The feedback is already positive ”, assured Tuesday Elisabeth Borne before the National Assembly.

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If the protocol is not legally binding, the Labor Code requires the employer to take “The measures necessary to ensure the safety and protect the physical and mental health of workers”. It is this legal basis that could then be opposed to companies that are reluctant to switch to telework.

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