BACKGROUND REMINDER (see news of 15th April 2020)
To deal with the current pandemic, public authorities have implemented ordinances and decrees to create several dispensatory work stoppage schemes, including “childcare” stoppages (for people with children under the age of 16 or in a disabled situation) and lockdown stoppages. These stoppages are currently financially covered by the Social Security and companies (salary continuance rules), under more flexible conditions.
However, “childcare” and lockdown work stoppages, which are not linked to any deterioration in the employee’s state of health, are no longer covered by Accident cover policies since the decision to generalise the lockdown.
NEW SOLUTIONS TO ADDRESS THE EXTENSION OF THESE STOPPAGES
The sustainability of this solution was made difficult by the actual content of the legal salary continuance scheme, which provides:
– A supplement of 90% of the gross salary for the first 30 days;
– A supplement of 66% of the gross salary for the next 30 days.
To avoid applying this decreasing scale, the Decree of 16/04/2020 foresees maintaining the 90% wage supplement until 30th April 2020 for employees on “childcare” and “lockdown” leave, regardless of the total duration of the compensation.
It is also specified that salary continuance is due without taking into account the compensation received over the 12 months prior to the stoppage, and that compensation during the pandemic will also not be taken into account when assessing the right to compensation over 12 months.
Furthermore, in order to manage this situation beyond April, the government has announced that employees affected by “childcare” and “vulnerable persons” stoppages will be placed in partial employment as of 1st May, regardless of the date when the stoppage began and for the entire remaining duration of the lockdown measure concerning the employee or their child.
This measure should be validated as part of the amending finance law (Loi de Finances rectificative) for 2020. In the bill, it is stated that the employee will receive the partial activity allowance, and the company will be reimbursed by the State, without, of course, the company having to justify a closure or an activity slowdown.
PARTIAL HOMOGENISATION OF THE SALARY CONTINUANCE RULES
The Decree of 16/04/2020 also partially harmonises the waiting period applicable to salary continuance between the different types of work stoppages:
– It upholds abolition of the waiting period (usually 7 days) for dispensatory stoppages (up to 31st May 2020).
– It abolishes application of the waiting period for work stoppages due to an accident or illness until the state of health emergency period has ended. With a brief transition: the waiting period is reduced from 7 days to 3 days for stoppages prescribed between the 12th and 23rd of March