Abattoir is first French firm to offer cash reward to vaccinated staff

Employees at Brittany abattoir can benefit from bonus of €200 if they prove they have been vaccinated against Covid

9 August 2021
By Ellie Fullalove

A Brittany-based abattoir has become the first company in France to offer its employees a financial incentive to get vaccinated against Covid.

Headquartered at Lamballe and with slaughterhouses in Montfort-sur-Meu, Cooperl has introduced the €200 bonus to help prevent cluster infections at work.

The initiative will be funded by a ‘Macron bonus’ with any of its 7,000 employees who can show they have been vaccinated eligible for the money or to receive vouchers.

Applications must be made via the HR department by October 29, 2021 said local news station France Bleu Armorique.

Is offering a cash reward for Covid vaccination legal?

Offering financial rewards to workers who have the Covid-19 vaccine raises legal issues on the basis that it "contradicts the principle of equality,” Delphine Robinet, a lawyer specialising in employment law, told Franceinfo. "It is not a relevant criterion for giving one person a bonus and not another", she added.

The official guide produced for companies in France by the French Labour Ministry, dated June 30, says that employers cannot require employees to inform them of their vaccination status. The ministry also said that health data could not be collected and stored by companies.

"A bonus must be paid according to an objective criterion. But the vaccine is not one", another lawyer, Eric Rocheblave, told Capital.

Companies in France cannot force employees to be vaccinated, nor to be tested, or to have their temperature taken. However, the ‘health pass’ requires certain workers to be vaccinated against Covid by law.

If class action is brought against Cooperl and the company decides to cancel the bonus, it could risk having to pay damages, said lawyer Hofée Semopa, who was interviewed by Challenges magazine.

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