Covid 19 – Teleworking, antigenic tests, support

To follow up on our previous Covid-19 notes, please find below information on the following topics:

  • Details on teleworking (risk of isolation of employees, internships and apprenticeships)
  • Rules governing antigenic tests in companies
  • Support measures for businesses
  • State aid ceiling

 

Details on teleworking (risk of isolation of employees, internships and apprenticeships)

The Ministry of Labor has updated its question-and-answer document on telework to include two new topics: the risk of isolation of employees, and the rules for internships and apprenticeships.

 

Risk of isolation of employees

If teleworking must be put in place for all activities that can be carried out remotely, arrangements can nevertheless be made when an employee is in a situation of isolation.

The employer must be vigilant with regard to this risk and take appropriate preventive measures, in application of its safety obligation, which still applies to employees when they are teleworking. For example, the employer can organize formal and informal exchanges by videoconference and/or telephone in order to maintain links between team members.

If preventive measures are insufficient to protect the health of the employee in this isolated situation, the employer may authorize the employee to work from his or her workplace on certain days. This decision may be taken in conjunction with the occupational physician. This return on site must be done in compliance with the application of the measures resulting from the national protocol to ensure the health and safety of the employees in the company in the face of the Covid-19 epidemic.

 

Internships and apprenticeships

The following regime applies to internships :

 

  • All the protective rules regarding health and safety at work apply to trainees, in the same way as employees, who are placed under the authority of the employer (article L.4111-5 of the French Labor Code). The employer may therefore extend the recommendations resulting from the health protocol in the context of the relationship between the host organization and the trainee.

 

  • The employer may extend the recommendations resulting from the health protocol within the framework of the relationship between the host organization and the trainee, thus subjecting them to the same rules as the employees.

 

  • The host organization, if it is open, the trainee student and the educational institution must discuss the conditions for continuing the internship, which may be carried out remotely or at the workplace. It can also be postponed. As regards formalities, an amendment to the internship agreement may be concluded electronically, or failing this, an exchange of e-mails between these three parties.

 

  • If the internship continues, including remotely, the salary is still due to the trainee. It may be interrupted if the host organization ceases its activity and closes its premises: it is advisable to exchange e-mails or use any other means of communication to document this situation.

 

  • Concerning insurance issues (work accident and occupational disease), if the salary is less than or equal to the legal limit, the trainee is covered by the training institution. If it is higher, the trainee is covered by the host organization. As a reminder, trainees do not benefit from sick leave leading to daily social security benefits.

 

Different rules are applicable to apprenticeships :

 

  • The apprentice is subject to the same rules as other employees of the company. He can work remotely under the same conditions, if his activities allow it. The apprentice’s manager must maintain a regular link with him/her by any means (text messages, video-conferences, e-mail, etc.).

 

  • If the apprentice cannot telework (no proper computer equipment, incompatibility with the nature of the activity…), he may continue to work on site with a certificate signed by his employer, in strict compliance with the health instructions established by the national protocol.

 

Rules governing antigenic tests in the workplace

The modalities of collective screening for Covid-19 in companies by means of antigenic tests were specified in a decree of November 16, 2020.

 

These antigenic tests must be conducted by a doctor, nurse, pharmacist or one of the persons mentioned in IV and V of article 25 of the decree of July 10, 2020 (aimed in particular at persons with a qualification in the field of molecular biology or who have at least one year of professional experience in this field, when the laboratories do not have enough staff available).

 

The results are communicated by a physician, pharmacist or nurse, and must be recorded the same day in the SI-DEP system (Système d’Informations de DEPistage). In the event of a negative test result, health professionals inform symptomatic individuals aged 65 years or older and individuals with at least one risk factor that they are recommended to consult a physician and confirm this result with a PCR test.

 

Support measures for businesses

The form for October solidarity fund is online

The form for applications for turnover losses for the month of October is available in the “espace particuliers” of impots.gouv.fr. The application must be submitted by 31 December 2020 at the latest.

 

https://www.economie.gouv.fr/covid19-soutien-entreprises/mise-en-ligne-formulaire-fonds-solidarite-20-novembre

 

Exceptional measures for the payment of the remaining balance of the business property tax (Cotisation foncière des entreprises – CFE)

Following the announcement of the extension of the CFE’s deadline to December 15, the government is putting in place additional support for companies which can now obtain, on request, an extension of the deadline by 3 months.

Companies planning to benefit from a tax ceiling on the territorial economic contribution for 2020 based on added value will be able to anticipate the expected rebate by deducting it directly from the amount of the 2020 CFE balance. An exceptional margin of error of 20% will be tolerated for this deduction and no penalty will be applied.

The details of these measures are available here: https://www.economie.gouv.fr/covid19-soutien-entreprises/report-paiement-solde-cotisation-fonciere-entreprises

 

State aid ceiling

We inform you that the authorities responsible for assessing eligibility for and granting of State aid may impose a maximum ceiling on the amount of aid your company can receive.

This is due to the “de minimis” rule laid down in European regulations, which stipulates that a single company can only receive €200,000 of “de minimis” aid over a period of 3 fiscal years. In order to deal with the Covid crisis, this ceiling has been extended to €800,000 in certain situations.

We invite you to contact the “Direction Générale des Finances Publiques” or the “CODEFI” if you have any questions on this matter.

 

https://les-aides.fr/zoom/bZ5g/l-application-de-la-regle-de-minimis.html

 

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