the Council of State suspends the new vulnerability criteria to access partial unemployment

The government has just suffered a setback in its management of the health and economic crisis. Seized in summary proceedings, the Council of State suspended, Thursday, October 15, several articles of a decree of August 29, which restricted the categories of people entitled to short-time working because of their vulnerability to Covid-19. Following an appeal by the National League against Obesity and several individual applicants, this decision forced the executive to review its copy.

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The text contested before the high administrative court replaced another decree, dated May 5, which had the following vocation: to list the situations in which employees can benefit from partial unemployment on the grounds that they risk “Develop a severe form of SARS-CoV-2 infection”. Eleven scenarios had been planned: to be affected by “Active cancer under treatment” or a “Immunosuppression”, “Have chronic renal failure on dialysis”, etc.

Lack of justifications

During the summer, the government decided to reduce the scope of the measure, in particular by taking advantage of an opinion from the High Council of Public Health. The decree of 29 August therefore had the effect of removing from the list people suffering from, among other things, unbalanced diabetes, chronic respiratory disease or obesity.

As soon as published in Official newspaper, the text had aroused strong criticism. Such arbitration “Could have serious repercussions”, had deplored the French-language Pneumology Society. The writer and doctor Christian Lehmann was also moved in a column posted on the newspaper’s website Release.

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In the order it issued Thursday, the Council of State considered that the government had not sufficiently justified the consistency of the new criteria chosen. Its decision has the effect of restoring, temporarily, the provisions – more protective – of the decree of May 5. Thursday, Olivier Véran, the Minister of Solidarity and Health, announced that he would rectify the offending text, in consultation with the associations concerned.

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