MAINTENANCE. Laurent Pietraszewski: “The sanitary pass is a bubble of protection”

The summer was marked by the mobilization of opponents of the health pass. It becomes compulsory for all employees working in establishments open to the public. “There will be checks”, warns Laurent Pietraszewski, the Secretary of State for Health, who however invites dialogue to find solutions with the employees who would be opposed to it.

Have you been surprised by the demonstrations against the health pass in the middle of summer?

The composition of these processions is very disparate with people opposed to any form of vaccination for example. There are also people whose attitude is paradoxical. They defend freedom. In my family, my mother always reminded me that my freedom ended where that of others began. To live together, we must also know how to protect each other. I understand of course that we can express a concern. This is why the educational work which also involves the occupational health services is essential. And then there were less than 200,000 people to demonstrate at the last rally. while nearly 500,000 people are vaccinated every day. Our fellow citizens are well in this dynamic, let’s protect ourselves individually, let’s protect ourselves collectively.

What health protocol for companies? © Ouest-France infographic

What does this health pass obligation cover?

There are three modalities of the health pass. Either you have a complete vaccination schedule which includes two injections and a period of seven days after the second injection. The second modality includes a PCR test or an antigen test done in a pharmacy with a result in a quarter of an hour. You can also use a self-test which must be done under the supervision of a healthcare professional. There is indeed the need to analyze it and then make this result available in the form of a QR code. Finally, it is also possible to present the result of a test proving that you have had the Covid and that you have recovered. It must be at least eleven days old and less than six months old. It allows you to prove that you have antibodies that protect you as such.

Why make this health pass compulsory for employees working in establishments open to the public?

There is a question of consistency. When we require a health pass from people entering establishments open to the public, it makes sense to require the same health pass from the employees who receive them.

Are all employees of these establishments open to the public subject to the same obligation?

No. Take the example of a museum. A person working in an office may be exempted from this if this place is not accessible to the public. Likewise, employees responsible for changing water tanks or performing tasks outside of public opening hours may not be affected.

The regulations provide for the suspension of the employment contract for employees who refuse to present it. What does this imply?

Know first that everything is done to avoid this blocking situation. The idea is first of all to protect each other and encourage vaccination. If some do not want to be vaccinated, they can present a PCR or antigen test. Everything must be done to avoid this suspension of contract which suspends salary and leave rights and does not extend any fixed-term contracts. We asked the employer to summon the employee three days after the start of the suspension of the employment contract. Here again, it is a question of finding solutions to regularize the situation, for example assigning the employee concerned to another service not open to the public if this is possible.

Will companies subject to this obligation be inspected?

Yes, there will be checks on the application of the health pass to employees. They will be aimed at both employers and clients, for example at tables in a café or in a restaurant. But let’s stay true to the spirit of this regulation. It’s about building a bubble of protection. And this requires a fairly fluid social dialogue for everything relating to health issues in companies.

Does the deadline for vaccination for employees of nursing homes and hospitals remain fixed for September 15?

On September 15, these employees must present proof of vaccination. If only one injection has been given, they will also need to test negative within 72 hours. The deadline for the full vaccination schedule has been set for October 15.

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