Given the threat posed by Covid-19 and in order to deal with the inevitable decline of the economy caused by the pandemic, several urgent and immediate measures derogating from the Labour Code have been adopted by the Government. In particular, the legal regimes for short-time working and extraordinary leave for family reasons have been extensively modified in order to be able to respond to the exceptional circumstances of this health crisis.
Dismissals for economic reasons are prohibited for all employees of the company. An employer using short-time working for a department of the company may, during this period not dismiss his employees on economic grounds, including employees from another department not being on short-time working.
However, it should be specified that the employee on short-time working must remain operational and at the disposal of his employer, who may ask him at any time to resume work within a short period. Moreover, if the employee’s employment contract provides a flexibility clause concerning the place of work and/or the nature of the employment, the employer may recall him to make him available to another employer. The employee is obliged to accept the temporary loan of labour presented by the employer during this crisis period.
For companies directly affected by the Government’s decisions to close down and for those admitted to short-time working due to case of force majeure Covid-19, the trial clause provided for in the employment contract is suspended as from the effective date of the Government’s decision or as from the admission of the employee concerned to this special short-time working scheme. The suspension ends at the end of the declared state of crisis and the fraction of the trial period remaining runs its course the day following the end of the state of crisis.
Regarding the employee working on distance, the employer remains entitled to repose on a dismissal based on personal grounds in case the employee does not meet his or her professional obligations. The employer may also use other disciplinary sanctions such as a warning.
Extraordinary leave for family reasons
The period of extraordinary leave for family reasons is treated as a period of incapacity of work due to illness or accident. During this period, the legal provisions on protection against dismissal remain applicable to the beneficiaries’ of the leave.
For new hires, for whom the effective date of the employment contract is expected in the next few days, we advise you to postpone this date by mutual agreement, so that the employees can begin their work after the health crisis.
To conclude, in any event, whether the employee is placed on short-time working, teleworking or extraordinary leave for family reasons, he remains subject to his obligation of loyalty and good faith towards his employer and must in particular adopt a respectful attitude towards the latter outside the company and in particular on social networks.
KLEYR | GRASSO attorneys are available to assist you with these and other workplace issues. For more information, visit kleyrgrasso.com.
For more information please contact Joseph Granato, Communications Manager at L&E Global at firstname.lastname@example.org.