It’s my job. Vulnerable employees will be able to return to work

A man works from his living room during the Covid-19 pandemic. (VANESSA MEYER / MAXPPP)

Everyone is coming back to the office: it is the end of teleworking imposed by the necessities of the Covid-19 health crisis, even for so-called vulnerable people – cardiovascular problems, diabetes, respiratory or renal failure, cancer, obesity, immune insufficiency or third trimester of pregnancy. From Monday September 27, in a little over two weeks, this category of employees will no longer be able to benefit from partial activity or from work stoppage. A decree prepared by the Ministry of Labor sets the conditions for the return of these employees to their place of work.

There is no question of putting this population at risk for whom contracting the coronavirus could have very serious consequences. Employers are therefore called upon now to prepare the conditions for the return of their fragile employees. They will be able to do so in conjunction with occupational medicine. They therefore have two weeks to ensure that vulnerable people have an individual office or, if this is not possible, protective screens or working hours so that they do not find themselves confronted with all employees. The workstation must not be shared with other employees. If this is not possible, the workstation must be disinfected at the start and end of the activity.

Employers must enforce barrier gestures even more vigilantly. They will also have to make sufficient surgical masks available to cover public transport. Finally, they are called upon to adapt departure and arrival times to avoid peak hours for their vulnerable employees.

The decree also provides that certain vulnerable employees will not return to work. This exception is intended for employees and self-employed workers who cannot telework and who are in very specific situations. These are, for example, those who are exposed to high viral densities, such as front-line workers in hospital services or in trades which are exposed. “systematically and repeatedly” to people infected with Covid-19. Ditto for employees who have an insufficient immune response to vaccination.

These employees will be able to remain in partial activity. They will have to request an isolation certificate from their town doctor or their occupational doctor. The non-employees will be able to benefit from derogatory daily allowances, without waiting period, by going to the site

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