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Employees without a health pass can be dismissed in France

Credit: Belga

An employee could be dismissed if they cannot show a Covid-19 health pass after the parliament voted on Sunday to extend the scheme, French Labour Minister Elisabeth Borne said on Tuesday.

“We must not allow employees to believe that there can be no dismissal,” after the parliamentary vote, which rejected the possibility of dismissal for people who do not respect the vaccination obligation or health pass, “we are in the common law of the Labour Code,” she said.

The compulsory vaccination for certain professions (including healthcare workers) and the extension of the health pass was adopted by French MPs, the day after a new day of protests against these measures.

The text adopted provides for the obligation to present a health pass (negative Covid test, vaccination certificate or recovery certificate) in most public establishments (bars, cinemas, trains, planes, etc.).

This measure not only affects visitors, but also the people working in these places, and is expected to come into force in early August.

However, the MPs rejected the sanctions that were initially planned for lack of pass or in case of non-compliance with the vaccination obligation.

This rejection, according to Borne, will result in less protection for the employees concerned.

“We had wanted to frame the law in terms of how we could resort to dismissal, by saying in particular that this dismissal could not take place before two months and was accompanied by compensation for the employee; the Senate deleted this provision,” she said.

“It is important to be clear that this does not mean that there will be no dismissal, it means that it is less regulated, that it can take place earlier,” Borne added.

The objective is first to convince and facilitate vaccination as France experiences a resurgence of the Covid-19 epidemic due to the highly contagious Delta variant, according to her.

The Brussels Times