In a nutshell

- Are you a company not established in France and wishing to send one or more of your employees to provide a service in France ?
- Are you an employee of a company not established in France who is about to carry out a mission in France on behalf of your employer ?

If you are, the French regime on posting of employees concerns you.

Under this heading :
⊲ The posting scheme : preconditions to be met
⊲ Before posting : prior declaration to the labour inspectorate
⊲ During posting : guaranteed rights for the posted employee
⊲ The minimum wage imposed in France
⊲ Duration of work
⊲ Health and safety at work
⊲ Conditions for housing employees

You are a company established outside of France and wish to post one or several of your employees to perform a service in France ?
You are the employee of a company established outside of France and you are about to perform a mission in France for your employer ?

You are concerned by the posted employee scheme in France.

The posting of employees is a situation in which a company established outside of France sends its employees to France to provide a service on a temporary basis.
These posted employees benefit from the labour conditions applicable in France within the framework set out below. However, social contributions most often remain those applicable in the employer’s country of origin.

Please note :
The posting of employees should not be confused with the mobility of workers. Mobile workers are a legal category of European workers who benefit from freedom of movement and of establishment within the European Union.
Posted employees on the other hand do not settle permanently and do not integrate the host Member State’s labour market

.

To be able to post employees to another Member State, companies must meet and fulfil several mandatory conditions and formalities as well as apply the provisions set out by French labour law to its posted workers in a number of areas.

- For posted employees in the field of road transport, specific regulations apply. For further information : website of the Ministry in charge of Transport.

- The rules presented in this summary refer only to the definitions, conditions and formalities of posting, set out by French labour law. Other rules and formalities exist, including those relating to applicable legislation on social security for the posted employee. For further information, see the CLEISS website.

- For legislation on the right of residence of non-EU nationals, see the France-visas website to learn about your obligations prior to entering French territory or the Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ frequently asked questions (FAQ).

The posting scheme : preconditions to be met

The Labour Code offers the employer and posted employees guarantees and rights, provided that prerequisites and prior formalities are fulfilled.

Conditions to be met by the employer

1. Be regularly established in the State of origin, actually perform substantial activities there

• other than those merely falling under the category of internal and/or administrative management. For example, this is the case of a company that has only its administrative headquarters outside of France and that does not have any industrial or commercial activity in the country in which it is registered (referred to as a “letterbox company”).
• and not conduct normal, stable and continuous business in France. For example, this is the situation of a company which only conducts a trivial amount of business in the country in which the company is declared compared to that conducted in France.

2. Have employees who :

Normally work for the company wishing to post employees ;
• Perform their duties at the request of said employer on French territory, temporarily and are not hired purely for the purpose of posting them on French territory ;

Legal references to learn more :
More details on the conditions to be met : Articles L. 1261-3 and L. 1262-3 of the Labour Code

3. Match one of the four cases of posting :

• Performance of an international provision of service agreement between a service provider company established outside of France and a company receiving the service established or conducting business in France. Activities of an industrial, commercial, artisanal, liberal or agricultural nature, those performed as part of an agreement between a service provider company and a beneficiary, in return for a price agreed between them, may be considered as services. For example, a German service provider wins an industrial maintenance contract in France and posts some of its employees there for 6 months to perform said contract ;

Intra-company or intra-group mobility is posting carried out either between establishments of the same company or between companies of the same group. This type of posting refers to the following situations :
i. The provision of a service between establishments of the same group. For example, maintenance or repair works carried out on machine tools which built and sold by a group’s subsidiary company established in France are performed by one of the group’s entities established abroad ;
ii. The transnational leasing of labour not for profit, between establishments of the same company or between companies of the same group : a company provides an employee to another entity of the same group established in France as part of a labour supply agreement which provides, in particular, that the lending company will invoice the recipient company the wages paid to the employees, any associated social charges and the professional expenses reimbursed to the employee under the secondment agreement ;
iii. Siii. Subcontracting or co-contracting between establishments of the same group ;

• The performance of a labour supply agreement between a foreign temporary employment agency (TEA) and a user company in France ;

• The performance of an operation on own account. This type of posting refers to situations in which :
i. There is no client for whom the service is provided ;
ii. Posting is carried out on the employer’s account alone ;
iii. Posted employees are not managed by the host entity.

Example of posting on own account : participation in events. These cases of posting also concern employees participating in business meetings, mentoring seminars, meetings with clients outside the context of service agreements, training courses in another of the group’s establishments.

Legal references to learn more :
- More information on the posting scheme in the Labour Code in Articles L. 1262-1 or L. 1262-2

Before posting : prior mandatory formalities

The company posting employees must provide the labour inspectorate of the place where the service is provided with a prior declaration of posting before the start of its activity in France by using the “SIPSI” teleservice.
The prior declaration of posting is automatically sent in paperless format to the départemental unit in charge of the area in which the service is provided.

This declaration can be completed in French, English, German, Italian and Spanish.

- To complete your declaration, click here.
- For more information of declaration, click here.

Exceptions :
Posting on own account :
The posting of employees on the employers account alone does not require any prior declaration nor the appointment of a representative.

Posting for short-term services :
For business activities restrictively listed by the order of 4 June 2019, short-term services or services provided as part of punctual events are also exempt from the obligation of prior declaration of posting and the appointment of a representative. Those concerned are :
- Artists ;
- Apprentices operating under international mobility ;
- Athletes and members of the teams accompanying
them
- Official delegates ;
- Researchers or teachers speaking at conferences, seminars and scientific events.
For each activity listed, the order specifies the maximum duration of activity in France over a reference period in order to benefit from the scheme.

To learn more about the declaration’s contents, see Obligations of the employer of posted employees.

For construction activities in the public works sector, a professional identification card is required for posted employees and temporary staff. To obtain that card, the employer or the undertaking utilising the posted interim staff must apply to the Union des caisses de France (French Funds Union) before posting workers and for each member of staff.
- For more informations, go to “obligations of the employer of posted workers" (Chapter 3 : the mandatory professional identification card in the public works sector)
- To learn more and apply for a card for your employees : http://www.cartebtp.fr

Who should I appoint as company representative ?

Appointing a representative on French territory is mandatory. For the duration of posting, said representative will act as a liaison between inspection officers, by providing them with certain documents either in paper format or electronically. Prior to this, the company posting employees will need to obtain the representative’s agreement to being appointed.

The representative can be any person capable of carrying out this task (presenting documents and communicating with inspection officers). As such, the representative can be the client or even one of the posted employees (the person chosen must be easily reachable by email or telephone).

Exceptions :
Posting on own account and the activities listed in the Order of 4 June 2019 are not concerned by the obligation to appoint a company representative.

For more information, see Obligations of the employer of posted employees.

During posting : guaranteed rights for the posted employee

As an employer posting employees in France, you are subject to the provisions of the French Labour Code and of extended branch-level collective agreements applicable to companies established in France.

Which collective agreement is applicable to my company ?
The work carried out in France by an employee during their posting determines which French collective labour agreements are applicable. Depending on this, the extended French collective labour agreements applicable to employees employed by companies established in France with an identical main business as the work carried out by posted workers on French soil also apply to them (Article R. 1261-2 of the Labour Code).

For more information, go to "Collective agreements that apply to seconded employees. Focus on the rights guaranteed by collective agreements in "major industries"

Employers who temporarily post employees in the national territory are subject to the legal and contractual provisions applicable to the staff employed by undertakings in the same sector of business established in France, in matters of labour legislation, in the following fields :
1. Individual and collective freedoms in the employment relationship ;
2. Discrimination and professional equality between women and men ;
3. Maternity leave, maternity, paternity and child care leave, family-related leave ;
4. Conditions for making available and guarantees owed to employees by undertakings engaged in temporary work ;
5. Exercise of the right to strike ;
6. Duration of work, compensatory rest, public holidays, paid annual leave, working hours and night work of young workers, for more information, click here ;
7. Conditions governing leave and bad weather ;
8. Remuneration within the meaning of Article L. 3221-3, payment of salary, including increases for overtime click here ;
9. Occupational health and safety rules (for more information, click here), age at work, use of children ;
10. Illegal employment ;
11. Reimbursement of the professional expenses that represent special charges inherent to employees functions or employment, borne by posted employees when carrying out their duties, in respect of transport, meals and accommodation.

Specific case :
⊲ Among the areas listed, temporary employment agencies (TEA) posting employees in France must also comply with the user company’s collective agreements and extended or non-extended branch-level agreements on pay and health and safety at work. They are also subject to additional requirements (labour supply conditions, financial collateral).
The user company is in charge of the conditions governing the performance of work.

For more information, see Obligations of the employer of posted employees.

The user company is in charge of the conditions governing the performance of work.

Legal references to learn more :
- Article L. 1262-4 of the French Labour Code

Remuneration applicable to employees posted in France

At the very least, for the duration of posting and for his/her activity on French soil, the posted worker must receive the remuneration provided for by the French Labour Code or by the extended collective agreement applicable to the branch in question.

Please note :
In addition to the provisions contained in the French Labour Code, the extended French collective labour agreements governing employees employed by companies established in France with an identical main business as the work carried out by workers posted on French soil also apply to your posted employees.

The employer must therefore identify which extended collective agreement is applicable by taking into account the work performed by posted workers.

For more information on the elements composing posted employees’ remuneration, see "Posted workers’ rights”.

Working times

Companies posting employees in France must comply with French rules, set out by law, regulation or the extended collective agreement for their branch of activity, as regards working times, compensatory rest, bank holidays, annual paid leave, and working times and night work for young workers.

Maximum working times

In France, the statutory working time is 35 hours per week from 00:00 Monday to 24:00 Sunday. That statutory duration may be exceeded within the framework of overtime, whilst respecting the maximum periods.

For more information, see “Posted workers’ rights”.

Overtime

Any hour worked beyond the legal weekly duration or the duration considered equivalent by the applicable collective agreement shall be considered an hour of overtime giving rise to an increase in wages or, where applicable, to equivalent compensatory rest.

Unless otherwise stipulated by convention, overtime is counted per civil week, from Monday 00:00am to Sunday 00:00 pm. For employees posted for over a year, the total amount of overtime cannot exceed 220 hours per year (in the absence of a conventional agreement on the quota of overtime).

Payment of overtime is increased as follows (unless otherwise stipulated by convention) :
• 25% for the first 8 hours over the legal duration of work (between the 36th and 43rd hour of work) ;
• 50% for any subsequent hours (as from the 44th hour).

For more information, see “Posted workers’ rights”.

Night work

Any work carried out between 21:00 and 06:00 is deemed to be night work. Night work is regulated and must give rise to consideration.

For more information, see “Posted workers’ rights”.

Break times

After 6 hours of work, employees must benefit from a break of a minimum duration of 20 consecutive minutes.

For more information, see “Posted workers’ rights”.

Daily and weekly rest

Daily rest :
In France, all employees must benefit at least from daily rest of 11 consecutive hours between two working days.

Weekly rest :
An employer is prohibited from making an employee work more than 6 days per week. Moreover, all employees must benefit from a minimum period of weekly rest of 35 consecutive hours.

As a rule, the employer grants this weekly rest on Sunday. However, the principle of Sunday rest does include some derogations which, depending on the case, are permanent, temporary, subject to authorisation or not, or applicable to the entire territory or only certain specifically-delimited areas.

For more information, see “Posted workers’ rights”.

In accordance with French law, all posted employees benefit from the right to paid leave, i.e. 2.5 days per effective month of work. For a period of activity of less than one month, the right to leave is calculated on a pro rata basis.

For posted employees, there are two possible cases during their annual paid leave,
-  Either, he/she is entitled to the payment of paid leave indemnities equal to 1/10th of the amounts received during the period during which they were posted in France ;
-  Or, he/she is entitled to the remuneration that he/she would have received had he/she worked.

The employer must pay any interim employees (i.e. workers posted by a temporary employment agency) a compensatory paid leave indemnity for each mission carried out, regardless of said mission’s duration. However, this scheme is not applicable to posted interim employees holding a fixed term employment contract in the country where the company posting them is established.

In addition, in accordance with French law, posted employees may benefit from legal leave for family events (exceptional authorisation of leave which cannot result in a decrease in remuneration) :
-  4 days for marriage or the conclusion of a civil partnership ;
-  3 days for each birth within the household or for the arrival of an adopted child ;
-  2 days for the death of a child ;
-  2 days for the death of a spouse ;
-  1 day for a child’s marriage ;
-  1 day for the death of a father, mother, stepfather, stepmother, brother or sister.

Posted employees are entitled to maternity leave (at least 6 weeks prior to the birth and 10 weeks after the birth) ; and cannot be dismissed during their pregnancy, during their maternity leave, nor during a period of 10 weeks after their maternity leave,

Posted employees are also entitled to paternity and adoption leave.

Obligation to join a paid leave fund for specific activities.

Employers established outside France who post workers to France and whose main activity falls within the scope of collective agreements in the construction and public works sector or entertainment activities must join the competent paid leave fund. Undertakings established in another Member State of the European Union or in one of the other States party to the Agreement on the European Economic Area may be exempted from that obligation if they provide evidence that their employees enjoy their rights to paid leave for the period of the posting in conditions that are least equivalent to those provided for in French legislation. The activities undertaken by employees posted to France may, or may not, mean that, in respect of the benefit in question, the undertaking is linked to that special scheme.

For more information, see "Obligations of the employer of posted employees".

For more information, see “Posted workers’ rights”.

Bank holidays

In France, 11 dates are defined by law as bank holidays (1 January, Easter Monday, 1 May, Ascension Day, Whit Monday, 14 July, Assumption Day (15 August), All Saints’ Day (1 November), 11 November and 25 December).

For more details on compensation for public holidays, see “Posted workers’ rights”.

Health and safety at work

The provisions relating to medical attention are applicable to posted employees before and during the posting, the costs of which are assumed by the employer.

As such, you must introduce prevention measures that are suited to the risks to which employees may be exposed. Retour ligne automatique
Examples : working at a height, coordinating a worksite, exposure to asbestos, to noise, rule on using and checking equipment, such as scaffolding or lifting equipment, etc.

For more information, see “Posted workers’ rights”.

Occupational accidents

When a posted employee is the victim of an occupational accident, a declaration must be completed and sent to the labour inspectorate of the place where the accident occurred.

This declaration must be completed by the contractor or the user company in the case of a provision of service agreement or by the employer themselves in the case of posting on own account.
It can be completed using any medium. It does not bear any relation to the declaration that must be sent to the social security body of the country of affiliation by the employee’s employer.

Safety at work

The employer must comply with the rules relating to worker safety, which involves assessing occupational risks, conducting preventive, informational and training actions for employees as well as introducing suitable organisation and resources.

For more information, see “Posted workers’ rights”.

Conditions for housing employees

Requirements as regards the conditions for housing employees

An employer may decide to accommodate posted employees in collective or individual housing.
Said employer is bound by the obligations set out in the French Labour Code which lists the main characteristics and minimum equipment that housing must offer employees (see below “general situation” and “specific situations”).

For more details, in particular the minimum features and equipment of accommodation, go to “Posted workers’ rights”.

Additional obligations apply to housing for employees in the construction and public works sector, as well as to housing for employees from the agricultural sector.

Obligation to declare collective housing

Any individual allocating premises to free or paid housing for workers (for example, the contractor or main contracting party) is required to declare such to the prefect of the département in which the premises are located. This declaration, renewable every year, must be completed using form Cerfa no. 61-2091 in two copies and submitted at the latest on the 30th day following the allocation of the premises to collective housing.

- Sanctions :
Lack of declaration or of renewal, or the production of an incomplete, incorrect or late declaration or renewal may result in a fine of between 300 and 6,000 euros and a prison sentence of between two months and two years, or in one of these sanctions alone.

When the person allocating premises to collective housing for employees is the employer, the latter is required to send the declaration to the prefect (the declaration must be made within a period of 30 days following the creation of the housing) and to send a declaration to the labour inspectorate when said housing is provided for collective use outside of the family setting.

For the posting of employees, the prior declaration of posting must contain information on the potential collective housing of employees and be made prior to the start of the posting, using the SIPSI teleservice. The indication of collective housing on the prior declaration of posting does not replace the obligation of sending a declaration to the labour inspectorate.

Temporary employment agencies established outside of France which post employees on French soil are subject to the same declaration formalities.

Monitoring conditions for employee accommodation

Workers shall not be accommodated in premises used for industrial or commercial purposes. The living area and volume shall not be less than 6 m2 and 15 m3 per person. Parts of premises of a height of less than 1.90 m shall not be counted as living space.

Those premises must be ventilated, equipped with windows or transparent openings giving directly onto the outside and fitted with a concealment device. The worker must be able to close he accommodation and access it freely.

Where the accommodation conditions are inconsistent with human dignity, a report is produced by the labour inspectorate to show that the condition of the premises not only exhibits mere breaches of the standards laid down by the Labour Code or the Rural and Maritime Fishing Code, but serious infringements of the dignity of workers. The evidence provided may relate to the dilapidated state of the premises, their level of hygiene, their size, their number or their equipment. Accommodation is thus inconsistent with human dignity where the accumulation of gaps, shortcomings or deficiencies in terms of comfort, cleanliness, hygiene, protection or privacy demonstrates contempt for human life. This is the case, for example, where the premises are unsanitary, particularly dirty or unheated, where they do not allow basic hygiene standards to be met or where there are anomalies such that the occupation of the premises is dangerous (defective electricity etc.).

Any person, whether or not an employer, who provides accommodation to anyone, whether or not a worker, and whether collectively or not, that is deemed unfit accommodation commits an offence subject to criminal penalties.

- Sanctions :

  • In the event of non-compliance with housing conditions (undignified housing), the provision of services may be suspended for a maximum period of one month by the administrative authority, i.e. the DIRECCTE (Regional Directorate for Enterprises, Competition Policy, Consumer Affairs, Labour and Employment).
  • In addition, the DIRECCTE may issue an administrative fine of up to €4,000 per posted employee (€8,000 in case of reoccurrence within a period of two years) with a total limit of €500,000.
  • Furthermore, the fact of not complying, by one’s own fault, with the provisions on housing conditions may also result in a fine of €10,000 (Article L. 4741-1of the Labour Code) and of €30,000 and in one year of imprisonment in the event of repeated infringement.

In the construction and public works sector, and in the agricultural sector, specific provisions are set out as regards the facilities and characteristics offered by housing.

For more information, see “Posted workers’ rights”.