The Minister of Labor Elisabeth Borne announced this Wednesday, January 19, to the social partners that the government proposed to extend “for two more weeks” the rule providing for a minimum of three days of teleworking per week in the face of Covid-19, we learned from the ministry.
France lags behind its European neighbors on telework
The Minister told employers’ organizations and trade unions that “the health situation, even if it seems to be heading towards a plateau, does not seem, to date, to allow an immediate lifting or relaxation of measures in terms of telework”, we added from the same source. These measures had been reinforced on January 3 initially for three weeks. Their extension must still be confirmed on Thursday, following a health defense council.
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A “last push”
During the meeting with the social partners, the minister said she hoped it would be a “last push” and that the health indicators would then make it possible to “change back to a recommendation (and no longer an obligation), with a target of two to three days of teleworking per week”, the ministry said.
Borne calls for “strengthening” the use of teleworking at the start of the school year
Before the reinforced measures at the beginning of January, the protocol already provided for a simple ” target “ two to three days a week. Adjusted several times, this reference document had in particular imposed teleworking as a rule for several months from October 2020. It had been “increased to 100% for employees who can perform all of their tasks remotely”.
Telecommuting is not taking off
Despite tightened government guidelines, working from home did not make noticeable progress in early January, according to an interactive Harris poll for the Department of Labor released last week.
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During the week of January 3 to 9, among working people who could telecommute easily, 60% had thus telecommuted at least partially (58% in mid-December), the figures increasing more in Île-de-France (rising from 62% to 69%).
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Despite the obligation and the record contaminations, telework does not take off
The government has since provided for sanctions for companies that do not play the game, with the bill transforming the health pass into a vaccination pass adopted by Parliament on Sunday. The text provides for the possibility of administrative fines for companies that do not comply with health instructions, in particular with regard to teleworking. These fines may go up to 500 euros per employee, within the limit of 50,000 euros.