How can you help your staff who are in confinement because of the covid-19 epidemic?

Prudence is the guiding rule. A government decree was published on 1 February 2020 and here are the main points:

People placed in isolation, but who are not sick, have a right to 20 days compensation. This also applies to parents whose children have been placed in quarantine.

People in France who have been placed in isolation as a precaution shall benefit from “sick leave and daily sickness benefits” for up to 20 days. By decision of the Prime Minister, this measure also applies to “parents whose child has been required to stay in isolation and who, therefore, cannot go to work so as to look after their child”.

Compensation for the period of isolation

These arrangements are part of exceptional measures adopted by decree on 31 January 2020.  The decree came into force on 1 February for two months, i.e. up to 31 March 2020.

The decree, therefore, provides for staff concerned to be recognised as on sick leave and receive statutory daily sick pay from Social Security (l’Assurance maladie), without any waiting period.

Precise details:

  • No waiting period. The employee benefits from compensation as of day one.
  • No minimum period of employment.
  • You need to have a sick-leave certificate issued by a doctor authorised by your regional health authority – ARS (Agence régionale de santé). A family doctor cannot sign this certificate.

What compensation is there?

As generally for sick leave, people get half their daily reference wage paid by Social Security. This is calculated on average gross remuneration for the last three months. For example, an employee will receive €37.50 for a daily wage of €75.

The employer then tops this up to make sure the employee gets 90% of his/her gross remuneration.

The ARS have opened a freephone number for all non-medical enquiries: 0800 130 000.

If you have a temperature, are coughing or have difficulty in breathing on returning from a risk area, the authority recommends you do NOT go to your doctor NOR to the hospital Emergency Ward but ring the urgent medical call-out number (in France) – 15.

Vincent Burrus