Can an employee work during a work stoppage?

Verified 25 March 2022 - Directorate for Legal and Administrative Information (Prime Minister)

If you are off work (due to illness or accident at work or occupational disease), you must refrain from engaging in any activity not authorized by the doctor.

If you are engaged in more than one activity, the doctor must determine which activities you are not allowed to engage in.

Example :

You are a part-time trainer and you also work in a cleaning business. If the doctor stops you because of an allergy to a household product, you can still continue your activity as a trainer if the doctor allows it.

Thus, if you are working full time for a single activity, and you are on sick leave, it will not be possible to combine your sick leave with another professional activity.

The prohibition extends to any activity, whether paid or unpaid, even if it is limited and takes place during the authorized hours of departure.

If you are engaged in a prohibited activity during sickness, you must return the daily allowances paid to you by your social security body: CPAM: titleContent, MSA: titleContent.

If your employer has allowed you to work, you can ask him to pay damages in an amount corresponding to the amounts returned to CPAM or MSA.

In the event of a dispute, it is the judge who is responsible for determining whether the activity ascertained during a medical examination is tolerated or not. For example, the following activities, noted during a medical examination, were considered to be in breach of the obligations of the sick insured person:

  • Activities related to the mandate of the Staff Representative
  • Painting work on a house
  • Repair of a car
  • Gardening work


during sick leave, you can follow a training activity subject to conditions.

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