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It’s my job. No compulsory vaccine in companies


A syringe needle in a vial containing the Covid-19 vaccine. Illustrative photo. (BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI / AFP)

Could the vaccine be imposed by companies that would be anxious to do everything to protect their employees and especially to return as quickly as possible to normal activity, in particular by putting an end to teleworking and getting everyone back to the premises? of the company? The response has been hammered out at several levels of government. It is clearly no. The Head of State had indicated in November that vaccination would not be compulsory, and on the specific subject of companies, Elisabeth Borne, the Minister of Labor, affirmed it without ambiguity: “Companies will not be able to demand that – to be vaccinated – from their employees”. If a company has the power to offer screening tests, it cannot and will not be able to impose the vaccine. Moreover, for the moment, only governments can order vaccines. If this must change, it will require a decision by the Ministries of Labor and Health, on the recommendation of the Haute Autorité de santé.

Yet, already, some voices are being raised for companies to have their role to play in vaccination. Laurent Berger, the secretary general of the CFDT, very recently estimated that companies could help to distribute the vaccine as some are already doing to fight against seasonal flu. Moreover, Sunday January 3, in the Sunday newspaper, a forum signed by several business leaders called on their counterparts to set an example by being vaccinated without delay, and to open the debate in the company. The labor code also provides that a business manager can recommend to particularly exposed employees to be vaccinated. Recommend, again, but not impose.

Several large groups, in particular, have already set up think tanks around a possible vaccination in companies. Renault, EDF and Total are among them. At Renault, for example, a “watch committee” has been set up. It is made up of doctors and members of human resources. At Total, there are also lawyers to prepare, very early on, for a possible vaccination. But all the directions insist on saying that it is a question of taking the initiative and that we are only at the level of reflection.

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