Work stoppage, PCR test: occupational physicians have new prerogatives

A decree of January 13 sets the temporary conditions for prescription of work stoppages speak occupational physician, as well as the terms of covid-19 detection by occupational health services.


The decree is taken for the application of article 2 of the ordinance of December 2, 2020, which adapts the conditions of the missions of the occupational health services to the health emergency. In fact, these measures apply from January 15 to April 16, 2021.

Vulnerable employees or those affected by Covid-19

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The decree authorizes the occupational physician to:

  • Prescribe or renew work stoppages for employees affected or suspected of infection with covid-19: the doctor establishes the work stoppage of the employee concerned, which he transmits to the employee and to the employer. The employee must then send this notice to the health insurance organization to which he is responsible within 48 hours.
  • Establish a medical certificate for vulnerable employees with a view to their placement in partial activity: the doctor must then establish the letter of notice of interruption of work on plain paper, which must contain the identification of the doctor, the employee and the employer, as well as the information that the employee is indeed a vulnerable person . The employee sends this letter without delay to the employer with a view to his placement in partial activity.

Virus detection

Regarding the detection of SARS-CoV-2, the occupational physician can now perform the following acts:

  • The nasal swab by test PCR as part of a SARS-CoV-2 genome detection review
  • Genome sampling and analysis by antigen detection


The decree also authorizes the physician employee, the intern in occupational medicine or the occupational health nurse to perform these tests, provided they are under the supervision of the occupational physician.

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