France: New Administrative Penalty for Non-compliance by Employers with Covid-19 Prevention Obligations
A new penalty system will be applicable to employers who do not respect their obligation to implement preventive measures to limit the risk of the Covid-19 virus spreading in the workplace.
This will concern companies that have not implemented homeworking to combat the spread of the virus. An administrative fine of 500 euros per employee, up to a maximum of 50,000 euros, could be imposed if the employer does not comply after receiving a formal warning from the labour administration.
However, the company has the right to appeal to the Minister of Labour within 15 days of notification of the decision. This appeal has a suspensive effect.
The bill has been adopted and enters into force on 24 January 2022, and remains applicable until 31 July 2022, at the latest. However, the penalty system requires a decree, which should be published in the coming days.
Key Action Points for Human Resources and In-house Counsel
Human resources departments should audit the preventive measures they have put in place in their organisation to combat the Covid-19 epidemic. Homeworking is one way to protect employees, but it is not the only one.