1. What does labor law provide for in the event of a fuel shortage?
In other words, is the shortage of fuel a valid reason for absence? The question is not mentioned as such by the labor code. It is therefore necessary to find out whether this reason is a case of “force majeure” allowing you to stay at home while receiving your salary. The lawyers’ answer is Nope. Because what qualifies force majeure is a cause ” external, insurmountable and unpredictable »
But the blockage of fuel depots is certainly an “external” cause but is not “unpredictable” because it has been announced and relayed by the media. It has nothing to do with a disaster, natural or not, likely to surprise the employee. This shortage is not “insurmountable” either, since most of the time there are alternative means of transport to get to the office, even if they are more restrictive.
2. Can I arrive late for work due to a fuel shortage?
This reason is not valid. Even if we spent hours looking for a gas station open and stocked with fuel and we spent hours in the queues of said stations. This is even less of a justification if you have alternative transport available (metro, train, bus, RER or carpooling).
3. What are the consequences of your absence or delay at work due to fuel shortage?
According to Maître Eric Rocheblave, a lawyer specializing in labor law, interviewed by TF1 and Le Midi Libre, “the employee automatically loses his right to receive his salary for as long as his absence lasts”. But this shortfall on his payslip is not automatic and can give rise to discussions between the employer and the employee. It is possible to suggest, on both sides, to use a day of RTT, paid leave, or even unpaid leave. Suggest is the exact word, because under no circumstances can the employer force his employee to take this type of vacation.
4. Can an employee be sanctioned in the event of delay or absences linked to the shortage of fuel?
Maître Eric Rocheblave formally advises an employer not to have such a process, “unless the employee hits him every time he strikes”.
According to Olivier Bauer, a specialist lawyer interviewed by Liberation, “the principle of good faith (from the employee, editor’s note) is always presumed, adding that it would be out of the question to sanction employees “who have no alternative transport solution, and whose employers have not been able to set up a backup system”
5. What solutions can be proposed in the event of a lasting shortage?
Obviously, as far as possible, the employer must allow his employee to telecommute. But nothing obliges him to do so and in this case, as for the functions impossible to exercise at home, it will be necessary to find common ground, which necessarily involves the solutions already mentioned: unpaid overtime, taking RTT, laying of paid leave or unpaid leave. This last solution being the most penalizing for the employee.