“Olivier Véran addressed an” arm of honor “to the” soldiers “of the Republic, on the front line in the fight against the pandemic”

Grandstand. We can applaud the caregivers every evening at 8 p.m., hire, at each presidential intervention, the hiring of cashiers, police officers or even carers in accommodation establishments for dependent elderly people (Ehpad) and services home help, and ” at the same time “ not to assume the duty of recognition of the Nation when this engagement goes wrong.

By declaring to the National Assembly that only caregivers could benefit from automatic compensation for occupational diseases if they were sick with Covid-19, the Minister of Health, Olivier Véran, addressed a real “arm of ‘honor’ to “Soldiers” of the Republic, on the front line in the fight against the pandemic (see “Questions to the government”, video of the National Assembly).

This government decision will leave all workers and agents who have been contaminated by Covid-19 and who will have sequelae or who will have died from it, but who do not belong to the caregiver category, by the wayside. However, they too will not have despair and will have largely contributed to the survival of the population, by allowing them to eat, to have electricity and water, to ensure their security, or even to benefit from essential public services.

Their self-denial is all the more deserving of the fact that they went to the front, often without the minimum protective equipment against the Covid-19 and being very ill-informed about the reality of the risk and the means of protecting themselves from it. To assert their rights and obtain compensation in the event of contamination leading to sequelae, they will have to initiate a long and uncertain procedure before the Social Security funds, then before the social court, and demonstrate that it is good at work that they were contaminated.

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An unfavorable scale

The task will be difficult, not to say impossible, because the virus does not announce itself when it strikes, does not leave a business card saying that it is during work or during the latter that it has contaminated Aïcha, cashier in a supermarket, Gérard, peacekeeper, or Geneviève, home help.

Even for caregivers, the government’s decision is far from being a boon. Admittedly, if they will benefit from the presumption of imputability and will therefore not have to establish this causal link between their work and the disease, the compensation will be far, very far, from covering all the damage they will have suffered. They will only receive a lump sum compensation, which will depend on the rate of partial permanent disability resulting from the after-effects of the illness and their salary or wages.

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