In France, an employee can be fired without a Green pass where it is mandatory. It has clarified the Minister of Labor, Elisabeth Borne, after the controversies and protests that accompanied the measure launched by the Paris government that made the Covid certificate mandatory for workers in some categories, from restaurants to transport, passing through health care.
“We must not make employees believe that we cannot be fired,” said Borne. The voted text provides for the obligation to present a health pass (obtained following a negative covid test, a vaccination certificate or a certificate of recovery) in most public establishments (bars, cinemas, trains, airplanes, etc. ), a measure that also affects the people who work in these places. The measure should start in the next few days for customers, while the deadline for workers is August 30th. Until then, there will be time to adjust. Then, you risk losing your job.
The issue of the dismissal was not clear so far. To confuse the waters, the vote of the Senate, which had canceled the sanctions provided for by the original text presented by the government. In essence, the executive proposed suspension from work for two months, but with guaranteed pay, as the first form of sanction for those who refuse to present or obtain the Green pass. “The Senate has removed this provision,” explained Borne, who however clarified that this change will result in less protection for the employees concerned. “We must be clear, this does not mean that there will not be a dismissal”, it rather means that the dismissal “can happen sooner”, said the minister.
The measure was challenged by trade unions, such as that of the railway workers, Sud Rail, which has announced possible strikes. But the companies didn’t like it either. The representatives of the horeca sector refuse “to bear the cost of the dismissal of employees who will not be in possession of a valid health pass”, considering “unacceptable” for example the fact of having to pay the severance pay. Same challenge as Medef, the largest French employers’ organization.
In this regard, Borne clarified that the law provides for alternative forms to dismissal, but always with a view to giving the worker time to comply with the obligation of the Green pass. The employee, for example, can ask for holidays or to be moved, where possible, to tasks that do not require a mandatory certificate (in the train sector, the pass is mandatory only for those who work on board the carriages). “Then, again to avoid disciplinary sanctions, we introduced a procedure for the suspension of the employment contract in the event that the employee is not yet able to produce a valid health pass, therefore a suspension of salary. This suspension can be lifted as soon as the employee produces a health pass “, concluded the minister.