Eurofound's EU PolicyWatch collates information on the responses of government and social partners to the COVID-19 crisis, the war in Ukraine, rising inflation, as well as gathering examples of company practices aimed at mitigating the social and economic impacts.
Factsheet for measure FR-2021-32/1982 – Updated – measures in France
|Country||France , applies nationwide|
|Time period||Open ended, started on 01 August 2021|
|Type||Legislations or other statutory regulations|
Protection of workers, adaptation of workplace
– Occupational health and safety
|Author||Frédéric Turlan (IRshare) and Eurofound|
|Measure added||27 July 2021 (updated 09 August 2022)|
The bill on health crisis management, which was definitively voted by Parliament on 25 July 2021 (loi n° 2021-1040 du 5 août 2021 relative à la gestion de la crise sanitaire), provides that employees of certain establishments open to the public, notably bars and restaurants, will be required to present a "health pass" as of 30 August, failing which their employment contract may be suspended or even terminated if they are on a fixed-term contract.
The "health pass" can be obtained by employees, seven days after the second shot of vaccine or for a temporary basis after a PCR test (for a 48 hours period). This text, on which the Constitutional Council is due to give its opinion on 5 August, also organises the compulsory vaccination of healthcare workers. To continue working after 15 September, they will have to have received at least one dose of vaccine and their vaccination schedule will have to be complete after 15 October, otherwise their employment contracts will be suspended.
This law extends the obligation to present a "health pass" - previously required, since 21 July 2021, to enter cultural venues or to participate in gatherings of more than 50 people - to new activities and lifts the condition relating to the size of gatherings. The obligation will apply to leisure activities; commercial catering or drinking establishments; trade fairs, seminars and exhibitions; health, social and medico-social services and establishments; long-distance public transport activities within the national territory; department stores and shopping centres.
Obligation for certain employees to present a health pass
Initially, this obligation will be limited to persons frequenting the premises concerned. It will only be extended to employees who work there from 30 August 2021. The "health pass" could already be required to travel to or from the national territory. It will also be required until 15 November for staff working in transport services that allow such travel (air, rail, bus, etc.).
Consequences of the absence of a health pass for employees
When the employer finds that an employee can no longer carry out his or her activity because of non-compliance with the vaccination requirement, the employment contract will be suspended. An employee who is subject to a ban on working may, however, use contractual rest days or paid leave days before his or her employment contract is suspended.
The prolongation of this situation will not be considered as a reason for dismissal for employees on permanent contract, as was foreseen in the initial bill. However, failure to present a health pass may justify early termination of fixed-term and temporary employment contracts.
Risk of sanctions for employees and employers
The criminal penalties for employees who carry out their activity without complying with the vaccination obligation (€135 fine) and for employers who fail to check compliance with this obligation (€1,500 or €7,500, then €9,000 or €45,000 after three fines) will be the same as for checks on the health pass in transport services.
Introduction of a vaccination obligation
The text creates a vaccination obligation against COVID-19 for health care workers, inspired by the pre-existing vaccination obligations against several diseases (hepatitis B, diphtheria, tetanus, poliomyelitis). It will therefore apply to all staff in the public and private sectors concerned, except in cases of medical contraindication. This obligation applies in particular to staff in hospitals, homes for the elderly, firefighters, health care staff working in the homes of disabled or dependent persons, ambulance drivers, etc.
As a temporary measure, those affected by the vaccination requirement will be able to present the negative result of a virological screening test to their employer. After 15 October, in order to comply with the vaccination obligation, those subject to the obligation will have to present proof of vaccination status, but may also present a valid certificate of recovery (currently this certificate must be at least 11 days old and no more than six months old) or a medical certificate establishing that they are not subject to the vaccination obligation because of contraindications.
No evaluation about the number of workers submitted to this obligation.
Other groups of workers
Sector specific set of companies
||Does not apply to citizens|
No special funding required
Social partners' role in designing the measure and form of involvement:
|Trade unions||Employers' organisations|
|Form||Direct consultation outside a formal body||Direct consultation outside a formal body|
Social partners' role in the implementation, monitoring and assessment phase:
Social partners have been consulted bit didn't participate to the design of the measure.
Social partners were strongly opposed to the initial provision of the draft bill allowing employers to dismiss an employee who refuse vaccination and/or is not able to provide a health pass.
|Economic area||Sector (NACE level 2)|
|H - Transportation And Storage||H49 Land transport and transport via pipelines|
|H50 Water transport|
|H51 Air transport|
|I - Accommodation And Food Service Activities||I55 Accommodation|
|I56 Food and beverage service activities|
|Q - Human Health And Social Work Activities||Q86 Human health activities|
|Q87 Residential care activities|
|Q88 Social work activities without accommodation|
|R - Arts, Entertainment And Recreation||R90 Creative, arts and entertainment activities|
|R91 Libraries, archives, museums and other cultural activities|
|R93 Sports activities and amusement and recreation activities|
This case is not occupation-specific.
Eurofound (2021), Mandatory "health passes" and vaccinations for certain employees, measure FR-2021-32/1982 (measures in France), EU PolicyWatch, Dublin, https://static.eurofound.europa.eu/covid19db/cases/FR-2021-32_1982.html
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Disclaimer: This information has not been subject to the full Eurofound evaluation, editorial and publication process.