The compulsory health pass for some employees in shops creates tensions

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August 30, 2021

The introduction of the health pass took a new step on Monday: it becomes mandatory at work for employees in contact with the public in restaurants, cinemas, museums or mainline trains, where it was already required for customers. .

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Until November 15, employers will have to check the validity of their staff’s passes. This obligation also concerns volunteers working in all “places, establishments, services or events” listed by the Ministry of Labor, in particular bars, theaters, coaches or interregional planes, amusement parks, zoos, fairs and certain shopping centers. The government spokesman on Sunday promised “a week of flexibility, of pedagogy, of running in, of tolerance”. But “there will obviously be sanctions then,” warned Gabriel Attal. “If you are the manager of an establishment and you clearly do not want to control the health pass and apply it, you first expose yourself to a warning, a formal notice, and potentially an administrative closure”, a- he explained.

From September 30, underage employees, including apprentices, must also be up to date. The pass is validated by a complete vaccination schedule, a negative test dating back less than 72 hours or a certificate of recovery from Covid-19. Employees without this key will be able to take time off, telework, be assigned to a position that does not require a pass or be suspended without pay. “As there are many vaccinated French people, you have a roughly equivalent proportion in companies,” notes Benoît Serre, vice-president of the National Association of Human Resources Directors (ANDRH). “If after several weeks”, some employees “are still not under sanitary pass”, the company “will enter a system of suspension of the employment contract”, which is “a heavy decision”, he said. he underlined on Franceinfo.

According to the Directorate General of Health on Sunday, more than 48 million French people have received at least one dose (71.8% of the total population) and more than 43.5 million (64.6%) benefit from a vaccination schedule full. Similarly, the pressure on the hospital has ceased to increase with indicators stabilized for several days, with the exception of the West Indies. – “Disproportionate sanction” – The compulsory health pass for certain employees will apply in particular to the SNCF. “It is estimated that 70% of employees affected by the health pass are vaccinated,” a spokesperson for the railway group told AFP. “We will be able to ensure 100% of the transport plan in the coming weeks,” she added.

The health pass obligation applies to railway security controllers and agents operating in TGV, Intercity trains and international trains departing from France, but also to employees of subcontracting companies responsible for cleaning or service. catering on board. A total of “more than 5,000 employees”, according to SNCF.

Notice of strike at Galeries Lafayette

But this step is strongly criticized at Galeries Lafayette, boulevard Haussmann in Paris, where the SUD union called for an indefinite strike from Monday. The union fears “contract suspensions and layoffs,” its representative David Pereira told AFP. Not all unions are of the same opinion on this new obligation. This summer, if the CFDT had approved the text resulting from the parliamentary debates on the health law, the CGT had denounced the possibility of suspension of employment contracts, seeing it as a “totally new and disproportionate sanction”. A “heavy sanction”, had judged FO.

This new stage of the health pass coincides on Monday with a national inter-union meeting CGT, FO, CFE-CGC, FSU, Solidaires, as well as UNEF, MNL and UNL – without the CFDT. These organizations should decide on a day of mobilization on October 5, in particular against the reform of unemployment insurance. But the question of the health pass will not fail to hover above the discussions, while its opponents have been demonstrating every Saturday since July 17. Also on Monday, several ministers are meeting in Bercy with employer representatives from sectors (commerce, hotels, tourism, events) which are still suffering from the health crisis. A meeting on the eve of the end in particular of the increased level of partial unemployment compensation for the most affected sectors, which ends on Tuesday.

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