Covid-19: update of the national protocol in companies


Image credit: Les Dépèches de Brazzaville

The upsurge in the circulation of the virus calls for a strengthening of health measures, particularly in the workplace, which represents 15% of contaminations when the source is known [1].

Among the tools available to companies to participate in the fight against the virus, teleworking, which reduces the risk of contamination by up to 30% when it is carried out fully [2], remains the rule for all activities that allow it. . However, the latest surveys carried out by the Ministry of Labor show that, while the level of teleworking has been maintained since January and is no longer eroding, the room for improvement remains significant. Thus, among workers who can easily telework, 65% teleworked at least partially in March, against 64% in January [3]. They were 70% in November 2020.

To strengthen its application, employers in the 16 departments subject to strengthened health measures are asked to define an action plan to minimize the time on site for employees who can telework. This action plan will be adapted to the size of the company concerned and will have to be developed within the framework of local social dialogue. In the event of an inspection, the actions implemented must be presented to the labor inspectorate.

Collective catering areas must also be the subject of increased vigilance. While they are essential for the continuity of economic activity in certain sectors, they are, by nature, more prone to contamination. The national company protocol now provides that, in all departments:

  •     The implementation and use of packed lunches must be favored, especially in situations where the employee has the possibility of having lunch alone in his office or in a space fitted out in compliance with sanitary rules, as permitted by the decree of 13 February 2021;
  •     When the use of the packed lunch is not possible, the employee must have lunch alone, leaving an empty place in front of him and strictly respecting the rule of two meters of distance between each person;
  •     Company restaurants must continue to set up time slots to limit the number of people present at the same time as much as possible.

Finally, when the employer organizes the transport of employees as part of professional activities, he is asked to limit as much as possible the transport of several employees in the same vehicle and to strictly respect the application of barrier gestures. Companies are also asked to remind their employees of the rules applicable to the isolation of case-contact and symptomatic employees, as well as the possibility of registering on as soon as symptoms appear, to benefit from a compensated work stoppage without a waiting day, provided that a test is carried out within 48 hours.