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What are the solutions to retain incapacitated employees?

Employment Policy

[La politique de l’emploi s’appuie sur des dispositifs créés au fil des besoins, qui restent parfois méconnus longtemps après leur création. Quelle est leur efficacité contre le chômage ? Elle n’est pas toujours évaluée. Le Monde publie une série d’articles sur les aides à l’emploi, pour tenter d’estimer ce qu’on en sait – leur objectif initial, leurs résultats.]

What to do when an elderly person can no longer carry heavy loads? When an employee who has had an accident at work cannot return to his former position? Although employers are required to do everything possible to retain their employees, firing employees who have become unfit to do their jobs is still too common, the General Inspectorate of Social Affairs (IGAS) warned in a report published in 2018.

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However, there are many support measures to facilitate the employment of employees with health problems, which are highlighted during the European Disability Employment Week in November.

In order to assess the possibility of an employee on sick leave to return to his position or take a new place, two new features came in the law of August 2, 2021 on the reform of occupational health. First, the imposition of a supervised return-to-work trial period of a maximum of 14 days. Once renewed, this trial period can be carried out in the employee’s company (CDD, CDI, temporary, etc.) or in another company as a vocational training trainee.


The request is addressed to the health insurance, at the initiative of the employee. Since this period occurs during his illness, the employee continues to receive social security coverage. The trial is subject to the agreement of the attending physician, medical advisor and working physician with whom the visit is made in advance. During the internship, the employee is accompanied by a tutor. At the end, the report is sent by the employer to the occupational doctor, the health insurance and, depending on the case, the Cap emploi or the integration association Comète France.

Another flagship measure of the reform, the Convention (or Treaty) on Vocational Re-Education in Companies (CRPE). This is a Fixed Term Employment Contract (CDD) renewable once for a maximum of 18 months. This system, concluded after the end of sick leave, is a long-term “test period” to determine whether the employee is able to find his position in his position or retrain in a new profession. This applies to declared employees “at risk of incapacity” or unfit for work by a doctor.

Source: Le Monde



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