Faced with the observation that “Some companies remain resistant” the implementation of teleworking, made compulsory “When possible” to fight against the Covid-19 epidemic, the government announced that it wanted to crack down on Tuesday, December 28.
Thursday, the Minister of Labor, Elisabeth Borne, announced on LCI an administrative fine of up to 1,000 euros per employee “Whose situation is not in conformity” may be inflicted. And this “Within the limit of 50,000 euros”, added the minister, who specifies that this sanction will be introduced by an amendment in the bill on the vaccine pass by the end of the week.
🔴🗣️ # Teleworking – “We will introduce an amendment providing for the possibility for the Labor Inspectorate of pronouncing… https://t.co/tH0ySZnSsu
The Minister of Labor has indicated that currently around “5,000 checks per month” were taking place. “The objective is to educate, and we see that most companies play the game very well”added Mme Thick headed.
“We have a few companies which do not do it, which do not follow the recommendations of the labor inspectorate and which take advantage of the length of the sanctioning procedure to not respect the rules”, she explained. “I want a faster system, and therefore more dissuasive, allowing the labor inspectorate to be able to pronounce sanctions without waiting for the legal procedure. “
In the new version of the national company protocol (PNE), which will apply from January 3, there will be a “Telework obligation (…) for positions which allow it, for three weeks’, at the rate of ” three days [au] minimum per week and four days when possible “ as announced Monday the Prime Minister, Jean Castex.
While this PNE does not strictly speaking have the force of law, employers have an obligation to ensure the health of their employees, according to the labor code, and labor inspectors can already issue formal notices when they consider the measures implemented in the controlled companies insufficient. In the event of non-compliance with a formal notice, the employer incurs a correctional fine in the amount of 3,750 euros per employee concerned. But the length of this procedure made it little dissuasive, according to the government.
Inspectors denounce a lack of staff
According to the CGT-TEFP, the first union of labor inspection agents, some 28,000 interventions were carried out on the theme of Covid-19 from January to November 2021, giving rise to 110 formal notices. This union has been calling for months for a tightening of the legal framework concerning teleworking, denouncing the weakness of the penalties incurred and the lack of staff to control companies.
The announcement of an administrative fine shows that the “Ministry realizes the insufficiency of current measures”, commented Tuesday Alexandra Abadie, national secretary of the union. But the CGT-TEFP would have preferred that the inspectors could suspend the activity of a company in the event of failure to meet its obligations concerning teleworking, as they can do in matters of exposure to asbestos, falls from heights or electrical hazards.
On the side of the employers, the Confederation of small and medium-sized enterprises, which had denounced Tuesday a “Ineptitude”, was more nuanced on Thursday. “The Minister, speaking of an average, allows, we hope, in case of control, a flexibility of appreciation, and the announced amount, even if it can be heavy for a VSE or SME, remains below of what exists elsewhere “, commented its president, François Asselin. “There is a clear desire not to want to irritate the employers too much, of which we take note, even if (…), on the form, we would have liked things to happen differently”, he added.
The Medef, another employers’ union, said Thursday “Opposed to the principle [d’une amende], whatever the amount, because it is a bad blow to the confidence between the government and the companies, all the more unfair because they were exemplary in the crisis ”.