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Covid-19: Focus on the Health Pass

Health pass Covid-19
The Covid-19 health and economic crisis has led to many changes, including the introduction of a health pass. We would like to give you an overview of this new system.

> Health pass: definition

The health pass makes it possible to check the vaccination status, the result of a negative test or the certificate of recovery of a person, allowing him or her access to a place or event subject to the pass.

To date, this scheme has been in force since 9 August 2021 and is valid until 15 November 2021 for the sectors of activity listed below.
The pass is compulsory for people aged 12 and over, but it would only apply from 30 September 2021 for minors over 12.

As a reminder, the health pass can exist in paper or digital form, and take different forms, namely:

  • The negative result of an RT-PCR screening test or an antigenic test less than 72 hours old;
  • A complete vaccination schedule:
    • 7 days after the 2nd injection for double injection vaccines (Pfizer, Moderna, AstraZeneca);
    • 28 days after injection for single injection vaccines (Johnson & Johnson);
    • 7 days after injection for vaccines in people with a history of Covid-19 (single injection).
  • A certificate of recovery from infection, i.e. a positive RT-PCR or antigenic test result attesting to the recovery of Covid-19, dated at least 11 days and less than 6 months ago.

When presenting the “activity” health pass, the bill that has been definitively passed stipulates that only the law enforcement agencies may require the presentation of official identity documents.
Thus, if because of your activity, the health pass is necessary to access your establishment or event that you organise, you will not be able to demand the presentation of an identity document in addition to the pass.

The law of 5 August condemns the fraudulent use of the pass (using a third party’s pass or offering to use it fraudulently) and punishes it with a fine of €135 and potentially up to €750. If a second violation is detected within 15 days, the fine increases from €200 to €1,500. If this violation is observed more than 3 times in 30 days, the criminal sanction incurred is increased to 6 months imprisonment and a fine of €3,750. It should be noted that it is the fraudster who is responsible and risks sanctions, and not the operator of the establishment concerned.


> Health pass: places concerned

The health pass would be necessary to access certain places, establishments, services or events:
  • Leisure activities;
  • Commercial catering or drinking activities (with the exception of collective catering, takeaway sales of prepared meals and professional road and rail catering);
  • Trade fairs, seminars and exhibitions;
  • Health, social and medical-social services and facilities for vulnerable people, except in emergencies;
  • Long distance travel by inter-regional public transport, except in emergencies where a pass cannot be obtained;
  • Large establishments and shopping centres of 20,000 m² according to a list established by the prefect in departments where the virus is actively circulating.
The people who intervene in these different places, establishments, services or events (workers, employees, etc.) must have a health pass as of 30 August 2021.


> Health pass: the case of employees who do not have a pass

Employees who do not have a health pass may, in agreement with their employer, use their conventional rest days or paid leave.

If he does not choose to use his rest days, the employer must notify him by any means, on the same day, of the suspension of his employment contract. This suspension would be accompanied by the interruption of payment of his remuneration. The suspension of the contract would end upon presentation of the supporting documents required by the employee.

If the suspension of the contract is prolonged beyond a period equivalent to 3 days worked, the employer would summon the employee to an interview in order to examine with him/her the means to regularise his/her situation, in particular the possibilities of assignment, if necessary temporary, within the company to another post not subject to this obligation.

The employee is no longer liable to dismissal for failing to obtain a health pass.

The social and economic committee (CSE) must be informed and consulted when the obligation to use the pass has consequences for the general organisation of the company. Consultation can take place after the pass has been introduced, at the latest within one month.


> Health pass: the case of employees on fixed-term contracts

When an employee’s fixed-term contract is suspended in application of the above measures, the contract ends at the end of the period provided for if the latter occurs during the period of suspension and without being extended by the duration of the suspension.

> Health pass: authorised absences

Employees will be granted leave of absence to attend appointments related to the Covid-19 vaccination, without any reduction in their pay and without loss of leave. The absence is considered as time worked for seniority purposes.

Trainees are also granted leave of absence.

Employees and trainees may also be absent to accompany a minor or a protected adult in their care to a vaccination appointment.


> Health pass: sanctions

If, in the context of your activity, the health pass is required to access your establishment or the place where an event is organised, in the absence of control, you risk, firstly, a formal notice of maximum 24 hours in order to comply with the said obligations, then an administrative closure for a period of 7 days. If more than three failures are noted within 45 days, you risk a penalty of one year’s imprisonment and a €9,000 fine.

The State has set up a question and answer website to help you better understand the application of these new provisions: click here to consult it.

You will also find here a documentation presenting a useful diagram for a good understanding of the impacts on employment contracts due to these measures.

We remain at your disposal for any further information you may require: do not hesitate to contact us!

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