Partial activity

Vulnerable to COVID-19: criteria list as of October 28, 2022

Publié le null - Directorate for Legal and Administrative Information (Prime Minister)

The criteria for identifying vulnerable people at risk of developing severe COVID-19 are set out in a decree published in Official Journal of 28 October 2022. Such persons may benefit from the partial activity under certain conditions. What are the vulnerability criteria? What are the rules for placing vulnerable persons in partial employment?

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Image 1Crédits: © rogerphoto -

In order to benefit from the partial activity or special leave of absence (SAA) as a vulnerable person, you must meet one of the vulnerability criteria defined by the decree of 27 October 2022; be assigned to a workstation likely to be exposed to high viral densities; not be able to fully use telework or benefit from certain enhanced protection measures at your workplace.

This decree of 27 October 2022 is adopted pursuant to Article 33 of the 2022 Amending Finance Law.

However, the vulnerability criteria and the rules for partial work placement remain the same as in the September 2021 decree.

Conditions to benefit from the partial activity?

The vulnerability criteria for employees who can be placed in partial employment were clarified by a decree published on 28 October 2022 in Official Journal. The provisions of this decree apply to work stoppages starting on 1er October 2022.

To be placed in partial employment, employees must complete these three cumulative conditions :

First, you have to be in one of these situations

  • Be 65 years of age or older;
  • Have a history of cardiovascular disease (CTEA): Complicated hypertension (with cardiac, renal, and cerebrovascular complications), CTEA from stroke or coronary artery disease, cardiac surgery, heart failure stage NYHA III or IV;
  • Have uncontrolled or complicated diabetes;
  • Have a chronic respiratory condition that may decompensate during a viral infection: obstructive pulmonary disease, severe asthma, pulmonary fibrosis, sleep apnea syndrome, cystic fibrosis in particular;
  • Have severe chronic renal insufficiency;
  • Have active cancer on treatment (excluding hormone therapy);
  • Have obesity (body mass index (BMI) > 30 kgm2);
  • Have cirrhosis with at least Child Pugh B;
  • Have major sickle cell syndrome or a history of splenectomy;
  • Be in the third trimester of pregnancy;
  • Have congenital or acquired immunosuppression:
    • medicinal products: cancer chemotherapy, immunosuppressive treatment, biotherapy and/or immunosuppressive-dose corticosteroids;
    • uncontrolled HIV infection or CD4 counts < 200/mm3 ;
    • following solid organ or haematopoietic stem cell transplantation;
    • related to treatment-emergent hematological malignancy.
  • Have motor neuron disease, myasthenia gravis, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson disease, cerebral palsy, quadriplegia or hemiplegia, a primary cerebral malignant tumor, progressive cerebellar disease, or a rare disorder;
  • Have trisomy 21.

Second, you must be assigned to a workstation that may expose you to high virus densities.

Third, you must not be able to fully telework or working in person with the following enhanced protections:

  • Isolation of the workstation, in particular by making available an individual office or, if not, by fitting it out, so as to limit as far as possible the risk of exposure, in particular by adapting working hours or by putting in place material protection;
  • Respect, in the workplace and in any place frequented by the person during his professional activity, reinforced barrier gestures (reinforced hand hygiene, systematic wearing of a surgical type mask when physical distancing cannot be respected or in a closed environment, with change of this mask at least every 4 hours and before this time if it is wet or damp);
  • Absence or limitation of workstation sharing;
  • Cleaning and disinfecting the workstation and surfaces touched by the person at least at the beginning and end of the workstation, in particular where the workstation is shared;
  • Adaptation of arrival and departure times and any other business trips, taking into account the means of transport used by the person, in order to avoid rush hours;
  • Availability by the employer of surgical-type masks in sufficient numbers to cover travel between home and work when the person uses public transport.

If you meet these 3 conditions (listed condition or situation, unable to telework and insufficient protection measures), you must ask your employer to be placed on partial employment and give him a certificate drawn up by your doctor.

Severely immunocompromised employees can also be placed in a position of partial activity, if they meet 2 cumulative criteria:

  1. Be in one of the following situations:
    • have received an organ or haematopoietic stem cell transplant;
    • be receiving lymphopenic chemotherapy;
    • be treated with strong immunosuppressive drugs, such as antimetabolites (cellcept, myfortic, mycophenolate mofetil, imurel, azathioprine) and AntiCD20 (rituximab: Mabthera, Rixathon, Truxima);
    • chronic dialysis;
    • on a case-by-case basis, be on immunosuppressants without falling within the categories mentioned above or have a primary immunodeficiency disorder.
  2. Not having the possibility to make full use of telework.

For these severely immunocompromised employees, there are no risk conditions for exposure to high viral densities or the impossibility of enhanced protection measures.

Particularly vulnerable employees who do not make full use of telework and who have a medical certificate which indicates that they cannot be vaccinated may be placed in a position of partial activity. In this case, there are no conditions linked to a risk of exposure to high viral densities or to the impossibility of benefiting from enhanced protection measures.


The vulnerable employees concerned will be able to benefit from the allowances paid in respect of the partial activity until 31 January 2023 at the latest in accordance with the arrangements laid down in a decree published in the Official Journal of 31 August 2022.

Please note

If you disagree with your employer on the assessment of these enhanced safeguards (e.g. insufficient safeguards), you should contact the occupational physician who will decide on the situation. You are then placed in a position of partial activity pending the opinion of the occupational physician.

If the employer considers that the position for which you are requesting partial activation does not expose you to high viral densities, he must refer the matter to the occupational doctor, who will decide whether this criterion is met and check the implementation of the enhanced protection measures. Pending the opinion of the occupational doctor, you are placed in a position of partial activity.

Arrangements for public officials

A circular sets out the provisions on public officials who are recognized as vulnerable and adapts the provisions of the Decree of 8 September 2021 to the civil service. Since 27 September 2021, this circular has replaced the circular of 10 November 2020 on the identification and care arrangements of civilian public officials recognized as vulnerable persons.

In the civil service, staff members may apply for placement under a special leave of absence (SAA) by presenting a certificate issued by a doctor of their choice. Those who are particularly vulnerable, who cannot work from home, and who have a medical certificate that indicates a contraindication to vaccination may also be granted a special absence permit (SAA).

Special absence permits for public officials recognized as vulnerable and at high risk of developing severe COVID-19 infection expire on February 28, 2023.