Telework: obligation or recommendation?

Following the relaxing of the telework obligation announced on May 26 and in effect since May 31, 2021, here is an overview of the situation.

To benefit from this flexibility, companies must offer weekly testing according to a protection plan validated by the cantonal authorities. On the other hand, if companies do not offer testing, then the obligation to telework remains valid.


Thus, the directive of the Geneva cantonal doctor provides that:

  • Companies wishing to perform testing must submit a protection plan to the Cantonal Doctor’s Service (SMC) for validation,
  • The accepted tests are the rapid SARS-CoV-2 tests (validated by the Confederation) and tests pooled by molecular biology.


Whom are the costs charged to?

The legal framework provides for reimbursement by the Confederation of:

  • SARS-CoV-2 rapid tests with application by a professional;
  • Tests pooled by molecular biology for SARS-CoV-2.


These tests are partially reimbursed by the Confederation in the amount of CHF 8.- per test provided that a certain number of criteria are met.

The other costs – particularly in terms of human resources and logistical costs, organizational costs and waste disposal – are borne by the company.


Measures to implement

In order to benefit from the reimbursement, companies must comply with the following measures:

  • The tests must be accessible to all employees who come to the office, at least once a week;
  • The relative information provided must be clear and repeated systematically;
  • The tests must be performed with the free, informed and explicit consent of each employee. No constraint, either direct or indirect, may be exercised;
  • The tests should be carried out by healthcare professionals (called the “responsible person”, ie doctors, pharmacists, hospitals, laboratories, medico-social establishments, care and home help organizations) respecting the protective measures. The tests can therefore be carried out outside the premises of the company, as long as the testing room is located in Geneva.



  • Vaccinated people are exempt from in-company testing;
  • The company cannot ask its employees to use their personal self-tests in its screening strategy;
  • The company cannot force employees to be tested;
  • Regarding the results of the tests, no personal information is transmitted to the employer or to third parties.


How and to whom should the company submit its protection plan?

The request can be made online here.

The list of professionals performing on-site testing is also online here.

Once the registration and filing of the protection plan is completed, the Cantonal Doctor’s Service analyzes it, then validates it with or without comment. Any validation is expressly communicated by the SMC to the company concerned. The company whose activity is deployed in several cantons must obtain this validation in each of them.



Federal Office of Public Health: information sheet

Cantonal Doctor’s Service: directive

Federal Office of Public Health: Ordonnance 3 Covid-19

State Secretariat for Economic Affairs: employers’ duty

Official site of the Republic and Canton of Geneva: Tests de dépistage ciblé et répétitif

FER Geneva : coronavirus 

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