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FAQ 03/18 | WORK STUDY

CORONAVIRUS  - WORK STUDY

The reduced activity measure can be requested for employees classified as "cadre" in exceptional circumstances (Article R. 5122-1 of the French labour code). The employees remain employed however their contract is temporarily suspended and the employees' salaries will be adjusted taking into account their reduced activity as of the temporary closure of their workplace (or part closure). The remuneration conditions are fixed by decree by France's Conseil d'Etat and a specific allocation is borne by the French government.

REDUCED ACTIVITY

What consequences for my employment contract?

From the moment that employees are qualified as reduced activity employees, their employment contract is suspended (not terminated). As a result, employees should not work outside of the partial work hours or periods directed by the employer and should not attend their workplace. They should make themselves available for work or carry out any employer requests to perform any work.

By way of compensation for the suspension of their employment contract, employees receive an indemnity paid by their employer corresponding to a minimum of 70% of their current gross salary. The indemnity amount may be increased at the employer's discretion. If the employee benefits from training during the reduced activity period, their indemnity will be raised to 100 % of their net salary.

The reduced activity measure may be requested by companies in the context of exceptional circumstances (Article R. 5122-1 du code du travail). As an employee, you may be placed in reduced activity by your company. Your employment contract will be suspended during this period however you will continue to be remunerated. [cf. https://travail-emploi.gouv.fr/IMG/pdf/coronavirus_entreprises_et_salaries_qr_v2.pdf, question 28]

What financial compensation for the employer? 

n order to accompany the payment of the employee indemnities, the employer benefits from a forfitary allocation that is co-financed by the French government and the French unemployment insurance body (Unedic) as follows:

a) 7.74 euros for companies with less than 250 employees; and

b) 7.23  euros for employees with more than 250 employees.

A decree will soon be announced in order to reform the reduced activity measures so as to ensure that the amount allocated by the French government to the employer is proportional to the revenue of employees placed in partial activity.

This allocation will be at least equal to 100 % of the French legal minimum revenue (the SMIC) and capped at 70% of the SMIC or 4.5 times the SMIC.

The government assistance in the context of this imposed partial unemployment situation is paid to companies and it is for the companies to then, in turn, to pay their employees. 

TELEWORKING

Article L. 1222-11 of the French Labour Code provides: In exceptional circumstances, notably in the event of a health epidemic or in the event of a force majeur, the employer may require employees to work from home in order to allow for the continuity of the company's activities whilst protecting its employees.

And if I do not wish to work from home?

he apprentice/intern may choose to continue to perform his or her activity as per usual with the autorisation of his or her employer.

 In such circumstances, the apprentice/intern must be in the possession of a personal statement swearing that the he or she is required to travel to and from work and it is of the upmost importance that he or she respect the minimum physical distance with respect to others and the other appropriate hygiene measures. 

However, the employer can unilateraly if necessary:  

Require the apprentice/intern to work from home in light of the risk of contamination without the employee's agreement (Article L. 1222-11 of the French Labour Code).

Impose paid holidays already validated by the employer for any particular employee for different dates in light of the exceptional circumstances in application of Article  L.3141-16 of the French Labour Code.

However, if the employee has not applied for and been approved paid holiday, the employer cannot force the employee to take paid leave in accordance with this disposition

What are the consequences if an employee's supervisor is absent? 

If a supervisor is absent, it is recommended that the organisational structure remain in place as far as possible. In the event of the absence of an apprentice/intern's supervisor, it can be arranged for the apprentice/intern's safety for another employee to assume the role of supervisor. The new supervisor can take up this role despite teleworking through, for example, the organisation of visio-conferences.

OTHER OPTIONS

In the context of the current health crisis, my employer wants to break my professionalisation contract. Is this legal?

The holder of a professionalisation contract is a legally qualified employee. As such, laws, regulations and the collective agreement apply to him/her under the same conditions as to other employees.

Therefore, if under the COVID19 directives the company has to make its employees partially unemployed, then the apprentice is also entitled to benefit from such measures. 

Can my employer restrain my access to the workplace? 

If the employer cannot adapt the apprentice's/trainee's job to limit contact with others and if teleworking is not compatible with the activity, the employer can ask the apprentice/trainee to stay at home.

The apprentice/trainee can contact the regional health agency (via the web portal www.ars.sante.fr or the national telephone platform), so that a doctor authorised by the agency can, if necessary, issue a stop work order corresponding to the recommended duration of isolation.

If the apprentice/trainee is not able to obtain a stop work order issued by the ARS doctor and the employer asks him or her not to report to work, the apprentice/trainee's remuneration is maintained and his / her period of absence will be based upon his or her normal remuneration for that period as for all employees in the company.

Can my employer require me to take time off or RTT?

The only schemes that employers can impose (provided for by the Government) are physical presence at work, teleworking or partial unemployment / reduced activity.

Can I exercise my right of withdrawal if my employer wishes to maintain my activity in the workplace (no teleworking possible)?

In the context of the coronavirus, if the employer implements the Government's recommendations, it will be deemed that the conditions for an employee's right to exercise withdrawal have not been met, subject to a contrary opinion of the appropriate judicial authority. In principle, if the employee does not have reasonable grounds to believe that his or her work situation presents a serious and imminent danger to his or her life or health, he or she does not have a right of withdrawal. If the recommendations of the Government are not followed by the employer, then the worker may exercise his or her right of withdrawal until their employer has implemented such measures.  The employee shall inform his employer or a staff representative (CSE) of the exercise of his or her right of withdrawal by any means.

IMPACT FOR STUDENTS AND THEIR STUDIES

What should I do if my school no longer takes on interns? 

All schools in France, including overseas territories, have been instructed to stop receiving apprentices/alternants as of Monday 16 March 2020. 

If the school sets up distance learning courses, there are two solutions available in order to continue in accordance with the normal study calendar if the employer agrees. 

The apprentice continues to perform the internship from how if he/she has the necessary equipement. 

The apprentice may continue from their employeur's offices if the conditions allow for it (including the necessary equipment). 

If the school does not put in place distance learning:

he apprentice/trainee goes to work and the period of the internship will be recovered from other periods initially planned in the company. The apprentice is an employee of the company and therefore will benefit from the same conditions as other employees (teleworking, partial activity, childcare). 

This does not, at this stage, have any consequence on the execution of the contract. Courses at the school will resume when it reopens and will be adapted, if necessary, to the duration of the closure. 

The school's objective is to maintain pedagogical continuity and to ensure the finalisation of the course allowing for the obtention of the diploma.

All CFAs and schools in France, including the overseas territories, have been instructed not to take on any more apprentices as of Monday 16 March 2020. 

This does not, at this stage, have any consequence on the execution of the apprenticeship contract. These rules also apply to training organisations for employees on a professional training contract.

Will I be penalised with regards to the validation of my professional requirement if I am on reduced work hours, and I have not required the necessary period of face-to-face company time?

No. You will not be penalised.

How will my courses be organised?

The courses will be given by the teachers via distance learning, further information will be communicated by each program in the coming days.

Classes resume via distance learning in week 13. The intern training during this week will have to sign-up for and follow his/her courses by distance learning.

The course schedules remain unchanged. Interns who were programed for week 12 courses will receive a new schedule as will their companies. 

Les cours en distanciel seront ils conformes aux Périodes Ecole mentionnées au calendrier d'alternance?

As far as possible, yes. Further information will be provided in the coming days. The courses start again in week 13, therefore the alternates who are in training on this date will have courses via distance learning. Their enrolment will be effected via distance learning. The interns will be able to follow the courses from home or their company (if adapted).

How can I validate my presence and my enrolment during the distance learning courses?

The School is setting up a remote sign-in, all you have to do is go to your kedgebs.com mailbox and click on the link received to sign in and validate your presence.

Financing my studies  

The finance contract is maintained and will be paid by the OPCO.

Financing my studies  

The training is maintained by the implementation of distance learning courses. Funding from the OPCOs and the company is also maintained. The student must respect the conditions of distance learning deployed by the School.

Can the closure of my School or my company lead to a delay in my training programme and a setback for my exams? 

At present, exams will not be postponed. The training programmes will be adapted by the School when it reopens for interns in order to take into account the delays in connection with the closure.

I'm taking my courses at a Partner University, and the Partner University has closed. What is the procedure?

Several possibilities:

The university offers sufficient distance learning courses (ECTS). I register and follow the proposed program.

The university offers insufficient distance learning courses (ECTS). I register and follow the proposed program and I contact the internship service in order to put in place additional courses (ECTS). 

The University is closed and does not offer any distance learning courses. I contact the internship service in order to have sufficient distance learning courses (ECTS).

CHILD CARE

What should I do in terms of childcare if my child's nursery or school is closed? 

Two measures are available to employees in such circumstances (teleworking or a stop work order). It is for the employer to:

Declare their employees with childcare issues

In the context of measures designed to limit the propogation of the B132 a telephone service has been put in place by the French Health Insurance authority which allows employers to declare employees required to stay at home following the closure of a B130 school. This declaration will result in a stop work order subject to certain conditions. This service is accessible via: https:B157/'Q&A INTERNSHIPS COVID-19'!/www.ameli.fr/entreprise/actualites/coronavirus-acces-auteleservice-pour-declarer-les-salaries-contraints-de-garder-leur-enfant B136

Online declarations for stop work "arrêts de travail" 

For parents with no alternative childcare option than parent sick leave, an exceptional daily allowance has been allocated by the French Health Insurance. To access this service, go to: https://declare.ameli.fr/ 

What should I do if I have to look after my child if the nursery or school is closed (only applicable to an apprentice in the public sector)?

Apprentices in the public sector who have children under the age of 16 attending school or in group care in early childhood institutions and who have to stay at home to care for them must follow the following procedures:

 the parent concerned should contact his or her head of department and discusses the possible teleworking arrangements ;  

if no teleworking solution is possible, a special absence authorisation may be granted by the head of the department for one legal guardian per child and subject to the provision of justification as to the absence of an on-call solution. The apprentice shall provide a certificate on his or her honour stating that he or she is the only parent able to assume the childcare. 

This authorisation will be granted until the reopening of the establishment.

MOBILITY

What are the consequences of business travel for apprentices in and outside of the French territory?   

The employer is responsible for the health and safety of its employees (Article L.4121-1 of the French Labour Code) and, as a result, all business travel that is not strictly necessary should be suspended. 

Should intern travel within Europe and overseas be suspended?

At this stage, the French European and Foreign Affaires Ministry, preconises that all business travel that is not strictly necessary be suspended.  

What are the guidelines for apprenties who are already on a business trip?  

The French government has decided that all business trips underway overseas should not be interrupted. In such circumstances, each case should be evaluated on a case by case basis in light of the French European and Foreign affaires Ministry recommendations in place for the country concerned and in the potential transit zones. 

I'm an intern on holidays overseas and I am unable to return to France. What should I do? Do I have to request paid leave? 

I inform my employer and my school as soon as possible and I obtain their autorisation: 

to request holidays if the company is not operating under reduced activity measures 

to be qualified as partially unemployed if my company is subject to such measures 

to telework if the technical conditions allow me to do so (computer, internet access and access to work dossiers / documents etc...)

to participate in distance learning (available as of week 13) if attendance can be registered from a distance 

COVID 19 CONTAMINATION 

What to do if I have symptoms?

Follow the French Ministry guidelines : https://www.gouvernement.fr/en/coronavirus-covid-19

Immediately inform your employer

Immediately inform KEDGE by email: covid19@kedgebs.com

If one of my colleagues is contaminated (in the event of a confirmed case): what should my employer do? 

The employer must inform the people likely to have been in contact with the contaminated person

The employer must sterilise the workplace: whilst respecting a minimum 3 hour caution period prior to the cleaning. 

The employer must equip the cleaning staff with protective clothing, a mask and gloves that should not be re-used (note: wearing a mask is not necessary where the floors and other surfaces do not require aerosolisation.

With respect to floor cleaning: a wet-wash disinfectant method is preferable :

Clean the floors with a single-use cloth and detergent,

Rince with drinking water with another cloth (single use),

Leave to dry,

Disinfect the floors and services with diluted javel with a new cleaning cloth (single use).

The wastes produced by the contaminated persion should be simply discarded in the usual way and do not require any particular action. 

What are the consequences in the absence of a supervisor (stop work order)?  

In the absence of a supervisor, it is recommended that the normal organisational structure be kept in place as far as possible and that the apprentice/intern be supervised by a replacement supervisor. 

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