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France: temperature checks before entering the workplace are not permitted

  • Health checks with data collection are prohibited
  • Health checks with no additional collection of data are allowed, but the employee can refuse them

French legislation foresees, on one side, the employers’ duty to ensure the occupational health and safety of their employees and, on the other side, the prohibition to undergo health checks before entering the workplace and record those data. The employers’ obligation contained in article L. 4121-1 of the Labour Code implies the need to conduct a “risk assessments to identify the likelihood of staff contracting CoVID-19 whilst at work and appropriate measures to control that risk”. These measures must be communicated to the workers’ representatives in the Social and Economic Committee (Comité Social et Economique).

The prohibition of performing health tests and recording data entails the impossibility for employers to check for Covid-19 cases among their employees. However, employees must take care to protect their own health and safety, but also of others whom they may be in contact during their professional activity (article L.4122-1 of the Labour Code). It is also true that temperature checks, with no collection of sensitive data can be organised. However, they cannot be made mandatory and the employee may refuse them.  If the employer does not allow the employee to enter the workplace due to the refusal, then he or she may be required to pay the salary for the lost working day.