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 all posted employees and interim workers.
The posting declaration completed by the employer of a posted employee shall be considered a declaration with respect to applying for a professional identification card for construction and public works employees. + Link to the sheet on “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).

Employers who temporarily post employees on national territory are subject to the legal and conventional provisions applicable to employees employed by companies in the same branch of activity established in France, as regards labour law, in the following areas :
1. Individual and collective freedoms in labour relations ;
2. Discrimination and professional equality between men and women ;
3. Maternity protection, maternity, paternity and adoption leave, leave for family events ;
4. Labour supply conditions and guarantees owed to employees by companies with a temporary employment activity ;
5. Exercise of the right to strike ;
6. Working times, compensatory rest, bank holidays, annual paid leave, working times and night work for young workers ;
7. Conditions for subjection to leave funds and bad-weather pay ;
8. Minimum wage and payment of wages, including overtime pay, as well as wage supplements provided for by law or agreement ;
9. Rules relating to health and safety at work (for more information, click here), age of admission to work, child employment ;
10. Illegal work.

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 maximum legal working time is 35 hours per week from Monday 00:00am to Sunday 00:00pm. This legal duration may be exceeded in the form of overtime.

However, there are maximum durations beyond which no work can be requested :
-  10 hours per day (save for derogation authorised by the labour inspector or by extended collective agreement) ;
-  48 hours per week (absolute maximum duration, save for derogation given by the labour inspector up to 60 hours) ;
-  An average of 44 hours per week over a period of 12 consecutive weeks (save for derogation by collective agreement or with the labour inspector’s derogation, up to 46 hours).

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

All work performed between 9pm and 6am is considered night work.
Shall be considered a night worker all employees performing :
-  Either, at least 3 hours of night work per day, twice a week ;
-  Or, 270 hours of night work per year (or another annual duration set by extended collective agreement).

The daily duration of night work must not exceed 8 consecutive hours (unless otherwise stipulated by convention). Compensation is provided for by collective agreement, either in the form of compensatory rest or wage compensation.

Recourse to night work must :
-  Be exceptional ;
-  Take account of requirements to protect workers’ health and safety ;
-  Be justified by the need to continue economic activity or services of social utility.

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 of affiliation to a paid leave fund for specific activities.

Employers established outside of France who post employees in France and whose main business is governed by the construction or public works collective agreements or entertainment activities must be members of a competent paid leave fund, unless they are able to prove that they fall under an equivalent scheme in their country of origin. The activity performed by employees posted in France is a factor that determines whether the company falls under this particular scheme or not for the service in question.

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).

Only 1 May is a mandatory day not worked in France (unless otherwise decided by the employer and justified by the nature of the activity which does not allow for work to be interrupted). Not working on 1 May cannot result in a decrease in wages. Conversely, any hours worked on 1 May are increased by 100%.

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

Health and safety at work

By application of the labour code, as an employer providing a service in France, you are responsible for protecting the health and safety of your employees posted for their duties.

Health at work

The following are applicable to posted employees :
-  Provisions on occupational health services, the expenses of which are borne by the employer
-  Provisions relating to the duties and actions carried out by occupational health doctors and other members of the multidisciplinary occupational health team.
-  Provisions relating to the individual monitoring of workers’ state of health
-  The measures offered by occupational health doctors (re-planning, adaptation or transformation of workstations or measures to adapt working times) and, where applicable, the declaration of unsuitability for a position
-  Provisions relating to medical health records.

As such, you must introduce prevention measures that are suited to the risks to which employees may be exposed.
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”).

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.

Checking conditions for housing employees : general situation

When living conditions are incompatible with human dignity, a report is drafted by the labour inspectorate in order to highlight the state of premises presenting not just mere failures to comply with the standards stipulated in the Labour Code or Rural and Maritime Fishing Code, but actual serious breaches of workers’ dignity. Evidence may be identified such as the run-down state of the premises, their state of cleanliness, size, number or facilities. Such is the case when the build-up of gaps, deficiencies or failings in terms of comfort, cleanliness, protection or privacy characterise contempt against individuals.

This is the case, for example, when the housing is substandard, particularly dirty or not heated, when it does not allow for basic hygiene or presents such anomalies as its occupation is hazardous (e.g. faulty electricity).

An offence criminally punishes any person, whether an employer or not, housing any other person, whether a worker or not, collectively or otherwise, in undignified living conditions.

The main characteristics and minimum facilities provided by housing

Housing workers in premises allocated to industrial or commercial use is prohibited. The habitable surface area and volume must not be under 6 square metres and 15 cubic metres per person. The areas in premises with a height of under 1.90 metres are not counted as habitable surface areas.

These premises must be ventilated, be equipped with windows or other openings with transparent surfaces with direct access to outside and fitted with an occultation system. The worker must be able to close the housing and access it freely.

- 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”.