• Stricter Requirements for Posting Workers; Increased Penalties for Noncompliance
  • August 14, 2014
  • Law Firm: Fragomen Del Rey Bernsen Loewy LLP - New York Office
  • EU companies posting workers into France to provide short-term services to a French client or affiliate must comply with updated reporting requirements, while the French entities that receive such workers must affirmatively verify that the required notifications have been made. Potential penalties for noncompliance have also increased.

    Posted Workers Provide Short-Term Services in a Different EU Member State

    In the European Union, a posted worker is an individual sent by an EU company in one member state to provide short-term services to a client or affiliate in another member state.

    Generally, a 1996 EU directive exempts workers posted within the EU from standard work authorization requirements, though precise requirements and procedures differ across EU member states. EU member states may begin to amend their posted worker rules in light of a new EU directive that was enacted in May to ensure proper enforcement of the 1996 directive, to provide greater protection for posted workers, and to promote cooperation, transparency and information sharing between member states. EU states have until June 18, 2016, to incorporate the May directive into their domestic immigration systems.

    Notification Requirements for Companies Posting Workers to France

    EU companies posting workers into France must notify the local labor agency with jurisdiction over the location where the services will be provided. The sending company must also designate a legal representative in France who can act as a liaison between the posted workers and labor officials. Under the new rules, the notification and the designation must be made before the posted worker enters France.

    If the posted worker will provide services at multiple locations in France, only the labor agency with jurisdiction over the first worksite should be notified.

    Verification Requirements for Companies in France Receiving Posted Workers

    Companies in France who receive posted workers must verify that the sending company makes the required notification for every posted worker. Receiving companies must also maintain on their statutory or personnel register an ongoing list of every posted worker they host. In addition, receiving companies are now responsible for ensuring that all posted workers are provided accommodations deemed appropriate with respect to minimum standards of human dignity.

    Sanctions for Noncompliance

    Failure to comply with any of the new requirements can lead to fines for both the sending and receiving companies. Failure to file the required posted worker notification may result in a fine of EUR 2,000 per posted worker, up to a total EUR 10,000. The fine increases to EUR 4,000 per worker for companies with a history of noncompliance. French labor agencies will maintain an online list of all companies that have been sanctioned for noncompliance with posted worker requirements.

    What This Means for Employers

    Employers should expect new requirements for posted workers throughout the EU as member states implement the May directive.

    Companies in France that utilize posted workers and the non-French companies that post these workers should continue to maintain up-to-date records detailing the workers’ movements and work locations. Non-French companies may need to develop new internal mechanisms for posted workers to ensure that the required notification is made.

    Companies in France should also be prepared for greater scrutiny for posted workers and a potential increase in labor inspections aimed to ensuring compliance with the new requirements.