international employment law firm alliance L&E Global

France: The French Government Wishes To Take Action Against Fake Sick Leaves

In response to the high increase in sick leave indemnities paid out by the National Social Security Fund, the government wishes to take measures to limit fake sick leaves.

For memory, employees on sick leave receive indemnities from the national social security fund. Subject to the applicable collective bargaining agreement, the employer is also required to maintain part of the salary for a certain duration. Employers can request a doctor to visit an employee to check that the sick leave is justified. If the employee refuses to allow this check or if the doctor considers that the sick leave is not justified, the employer can suspend payment of the part of the salary they were paying in addition to the social security indemnities. However, the employer cannot take any disciplinary measures against the employee concerned and cannot seek reimbursement of the amounts paid before the doctor’s control. The doctor’s report is also sent to the national social security fund, which can also decide to suspend payment of its indemnities. The employee can appeal this decision.

The bill, which will be presented to the Cabinet on 27 September for discussion before Parliament by the end of October, provides for an increase in the number of controls by the social security authorities and the automatic suspension of sick leave indemnities in cases of controls concluding on the absence of a valid illness. Also, employees will only be allowed to be on sick leave for up to 3 days should they obtain an online medical certificate. They will need to visit a doctor in person to obtain a medical certificate for any longer duration.

Key Action Points for Human Resources and In-House Counsel

Employers should ensure that they know who to contact should they wish to organise a sick leave verification visit.