Protecting employees during the COVID-19 crisis

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The protection of employees still in work is essential. Businesses that continue to open their doors must take important steps for their day-to-day safety. A goal, to guarantee the safety not only of its teams, but also that of customers in the sectors concerned. In France, where economic life is slowing down, everything is done so that every person at the front can carry out his activity serenely. From a practical, but also legal, point of view, let’s see how companies need to organize themselves to maintain a healthy work environment.

Organizing the work of employees at the heart of COVID-19

COVID-19 has shaken up the French economy and changed the pace of business. While many companies have not been able to continue their activities, others have adapted their operations to continue to operate. This is particularly the case for companies that can offer employees telework. It limits social interactions and is fully within the framework of the containment imposed in the country. But not all businesses can operate remotely, especially basic enterprises such as food shops. Health facilities, carriers or logistics companies are also affected.

The employer must take care of its employees, for whom it is responsible in the professional sphere. It must legally take steps to protect them in all circumstances. These measures are, of course, evolving in the course of the health crisis. In short, the company must establish a relationship of trust with its employees. They need to be reassured with answers to their questions, but also adequate equipment. This is to protect against the virus when there is contact with a clientele.

To do this, companies must provide their teams with essential equipment. Masks, to avoid contamination by spraying droplets, and gloves to avoid touching contaminated surfaces. Disinfectant solutions are also used to clean contact surfaces with hands, such as payment terminals. In food stores, signs disinfect trolleys after use, and indicate areas where used trolleys are left. Finally, a plexiglass window is arranged between the cashier and the customer in order to limit contact to the maximum.

Protection measures for employees put in place

Employees make it possible to run a business. In some sectors, the COVID-19 crisis is a major recruitment need for more people. The employer must therefore pay close attention to its teams in order to minimize the risk of contamination. This requires, for example, a redevelopment of the workstations, respecting the social distance of at least 1 meter. It is also the systematic cleaning of workspaces (keyboards, screens, door handles, stair ramps, various equipment). In short, anything that is in contact with the hands, one of the factors of transmission of the virus.

Limiting all groupings is one of the absolute measures to slow the spread of the virus. This is why some trades are reinventing themselves, with new, stricter rules. For example, in the logistics sector, only one person is responsible for loading and unloading a truck. All with mechanical help, to guarantee safety for a difficult job. Managers and managers also split breaks to limit the number of employees in the same space. In the delivery sector, which follows logistics, workers also see measures transforming their jobs. No more signing and hand-delivered parcels. The delivery driver leaves the parcel in the presence of the customer, in return for a code to be delivered orally. Another parade, the customer is photographed with his parcel, proof of the good reception.

These sectors that continue to function are deeply affected by the COVID-19 crisis. They supply supermarkets that also continue to operate. Companies that cannot continue to operate are asking themselves many questions. Business leaders and employees want to be reassured and to have guarantees for the counterpart, and after.

Answering legal questions from employees and managers

In order to accompany and answer all the questions that companies ask, legal professionals provide their answers. Indeed, platforms like Eurojuris, or law firms like Cornet Vincent Ségurel are mobilizing on a daily basis. The company is having an impact on several levels, at its heart, on public procurement, on procedural delays… All these issues and problems have an impact on the lives of companies and their employees. Thus, legal actors are available to their professional clients to answer any questions.

You can check out the Eurojuris Coronavirus news page here.

One issue often raised by business leaders is the settlement of commercial lease rents. Their main question is whether their absence from the offices can exempt them from paying rents to the landlord. For this, the answer is clear: it is not possible to refuse the payment of rent, under penalty of sanctions. However, arrangements are being made to assist businesses under certain conditions that are presented here. The platform also presents the various ordinances relating to the topics covered, as here,concerning the payment of rents and invoices.

The questions discussed thus answer the problems of all trades. For example, in the public works and architecture sector, construction sites are suspended until further notice. As a result, industry professionals are wondering what will happen to construction sites that have been suspended with containment. An answer from Eurojuris, available here.

The real estate market is also suffering from the COVID-19 crisis. Containment has had a strong impact on real estate activity.

An after that raises a lot of questions

While it is still difficult to assess the impacts of containment and the crisis we are experiencing, it is nevertheless certain that “the after” will be difficult for many industries. Businesses and employees are not left behind, because during this period, transparency matters more than ever. It is for this reason that legal professionals answer questions, and remain reachable for their clients. Because support is the key to staying the course, and passing this complicated test for all sectors of activity.

Sources:

Work Employment – Government site – Protection of employees during COVID-19

Eurojuris – Coronavirus News

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