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What are the obligations of principals for the posting of employees in France?

Obligations of employers when posting employees

Employers who post employees to the French territory must fulfil certain obligations. In France, the Labour Inspectorate makes every effort to monitor compliance with these measures and this effort is reflected in the fact that a large number of visits and fines are issued in this area. Thus, these constraints require a great deal of vigilance on the part of principals and project owners when they make use of posted workers. In this article, we will explain these obligations and the main points to watch out for.

Check that the posting declaration has been made

The French client who receives a posted worker must always ensure that the employer who sent the posted employee has made the posting declaration. This declaration must be submitted to the labour inspectorate at the place of posting. If the employer has not submitted it beforehand, the principal must send a declaration to the competent labour inspectorate within 48 hours before the start of the posting.

According to article R1263-14 of the Labour Code, this declaration must include the following information

- The name and/or company name of the principal's company, as well as its contact details and its main activity.

- The name and/or company name of the company sending the employee, as well as its contact details, legal form, and its registration references in a professional register.

- The places where the employee will carry out the assignment and the start and end date of the assignment.

- The personal details of the seconded employees;

- The contact details of the representative of the company posting the employees.

Obligations for the smooth running of the contract

When the work begins, principals are required to ensure that certain conditions are met, including

- Respecting the period of posting: in France, this period is limited to 2 years, non-renewable according to the "EC 883-2004" regulation in article 12.1.

- Compliance with minimum wages and working time rules: the seconded employee's rights are governed by French labour legislation for minimum wages, daily and weekly working time, overtime pay, annual leave, etc.

- The prior declaration of the start of the assignment to the labour inspectorate via the SIPSI

- Appointing a representative of the foreign company in France to liaise with the inspection officers.

- Verification of the regularity of the declarations of the "temporary" company.

- Updating the staff register. It is up to the principal to list a copy of the secondment declaration in his employee register.

- The immediate declaration in the event of an accident at work. This declaration must be sent to the labour inspector within 2 days of the accident. Failure to do so may result in a fine of €2,000 per employee.

- The posting of internal rules in the company so that posted employees are informed. This includes, for example, minimum wages, working hours, holidays and internal regulations.

Strengthening of the obligation of vigilance in 2017

Since July 2017, the French state has introduced new laws to strengthen the fight against fraud related to the posting of employees. This regulation mainly concerns the obligations of principals and project owners when they resort to international secondment. The four main points of these obligations are

- The compulsory verification of the prior declaration of posting vis-à-vis the labour inspectorate;

- Immediate reporting of accidents to the labour inspectorate;

- The handing over to the employee of an information document and a professional identification card by the client or project owner. The document must be written in a language that the employee can understand;

- For building and civil engineering works (category 1), the project owner is required to inform posted employees of French labour law regulations in the official language of each employee's country of origin.

According to the decree 2017-825 of 5 May 2017 and the ministerial order of 12 July 2017, the failure of the project owner or the principals to comply with the obligations concerning the prior declaration of posting, the declaration of work accidents and the posting of the regulations is punishable by a fine of €2000 per posted worker.

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