Despite the new corporate health protocol, teleworking did not take off in January. The fine of 1000 euros planned by the government was rejected by the Senate. In 2021, only around 100 companies were ordered to comply with the protocol.
How to ensure that companies respect the sanitary protocol in the company? As a reminder, since January 3, employees who can are required to work at least three days per week in distance. A measure decided at the end of last December by the Ministry of Labor in order to limit social interactions in the midst of the Omicron wave.
Tired since returning from the Christmas holidays, teleworking has not really resumed in business. According to a Harris Interactive survey for the Ministry of Labor, only 29% of working people say they practice telework at least partially between January 3 and 9. A figure paradoxically down, since they were 30% in the previous survey carried out from December 13 to 19. We are very far from the peaks of April 2021 where 43% of employees said they worked remotely.
Small cause for satisfaction for the government, among employees who say they can telework, 60% did so in January against 58% in December. However, we were at 78% last April.
In Ile-de-France, where contaminations are the strongest and office jobs are numerous, the craze for teleworking was a little more important with 69% of remote employees (among those who say they can easily telework) against 62% in December. In addition, those who teleworked did so on average a little longer: 3.3 days against 3 days in December.
On the side of the Ministry of Labor, we are not satisfied with these results which “are not up to the health situation.”
The Senate rejects the fine of 1000 euros
The government is a little helpless in the face of recalcitrant companies. The health protocol presented in December thus provided for an administrative fine of 1,000 euros per employee for companies that do not respect teleworking (within the limit of 50,000 euros). A sanction project that has not come into effect and for the time being challenged in the Senate, in particular by the LR majority of the lower house.
On the government side, we are annoyed by the “lobbying of Medef” with LR senators in a context of soaring contaminations.
“The French are also in favor of the sanctions since 76% of those questioned believe that the fine is justified in the current context of the Covid epidemic”, one explains on the side of the Ministry of Labor.
The government initially intended to set up a health pass in companies, but gave it up in view of the rebellion of the social partners. It also relies on controls, the Minister of Labor Elisabeth Borne having asked the labor inspectorate to go from 1,000 to 5,000 controls per month.
In 2021, the 2,000 labor inspectors carried out 30,000 interventions and sent 5,000 letters of observation to companies in which they had observed violations.
“Generally companies are in compliance when they receive the observation letters”, one explains to the ministry.
But it’s not always the case. Thus, in 2021, around a hundred companies were ordered to comply with the rules on teleworking.
re long to set up that the administrative fine of 1000 euros was intended to simplify. Since the start of the health crisis, almost no company has been criminally convicted for non-compliance with the rules on teleworking. According to our information, only the delivery company FedEx would have been fined.