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Partial employment provisions related to COVID-19 scaled back in France

On 1 September 2020, France ended its partial employment provisions for workers sharing a home with a vulnerable person, and outlined new guidelines for vulnerable people facing higher risks of COVID-19 infection.

On 29 August 2020, the French government announced the termination of COVID-19-related mechanisms that allowed partial work activity for employees sharing the same home as a medically vulnerable person. The announcement also sets out new guidelines of care for the most vulnerable people facing a serious risk of COVID-19 infection. These provisions came into force on 1 September 2020.

Since 1 May 2020, under a prior government decree, employees who have found it impossible to continue working for one of the following reasons have been placed in partial employment positions:

  • The employee is a vulnerable person at risk of developing a serious COVID-19 infection.
  • The employee shares the same home as a vulnerable person.
  • The employee is the parent of a child under 16 or of a disabled person at risk for isolation or eviction, or in need of home support.


End of partial employment for employees sharing the home of a vulnerable person

The new decree sets 31 August 2020 as the last day of the May 2020 partial employment provisions for employees who share a home with a vulnerable person.

However, those provisions will remain in place for employees in Guyana and Mayotte until the state of health emergency ends there.

Maintenance of partial employment for the most vulnerable employees (with a new definition)

As of 1 September, employees who meet one of the following criteria may be considered unable to continue working because of their severe risk of contracting COVID-19:

  • patients receiving treatment for progressive cancer (excluding hormone therapy);
  • patients affected by congenital or acquired immunosuppression, including:


– anticancer chemotherapy, immunosuppressive treatment, biotherapy, or corticosteroid therapy at an immunosuppressive dose;

– uncontrolled HIV infection;

– following an organ or bone marrow transplant; or

– linked to a malignant blood disorder during treatment;

  • those 65 years of age or over who have diabetes associated with obesity or vascular complications;
  • dialysis patients or those suffering from severe chronic renal failure.


Vulnerable employees will be placed on partial employment when they present a doctor’s certificate to their employer.

The previous vulnerability criteria set out in the 5 May 2020 decree, which included conditions such as being in the third trimester of pregnancy, are repealed. Again, this repeal does not apply to Guyana or Mayotte, where the previous criteria will remain in effect until the state of health emergency ends.