How To Send Employees In France: Work Permits

Posting workers to another country on a temporary basis to work on a specific assignment or project is a growing trend as globalisation expands and businesses focus on a larger, more international industry scale. However, when a foreign company is considering posting workers in France, there are a number of legal obligations they must meet.

Employers concerned with posting employees in France should seek the advice of a specialist legal service to ensure they meet all necessary labour code standards. Total Law’s team can help – call us on +44 (0)333 305 9375 or message us online, to talk through your business’ needs.

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    Posting Employees To France From Australia

    Offering global services and staff allows businesses to gain competitive advantage by expanding their horizons and, therefore, coverage. France is the most visited country in Western Europe, is one of the European Union superpowers and has a thriving business scene, making it a popular hub for professional, industrial and commercial activity.

    Furthermore, posting workers to France allows Australian companies to work on their service provision within the country without having to compromise on staff quality – using their most trusted employees to continue work for their clients no matter which EU countries their projects take them to.

    Despite common misconception, the process undertaken to post existing employees from Australia rather than hiring workers in France afresh doesn’t need to be overcomplicated. With the right guidance, the system can be navigated expertly and the most relevant talent imported for the job at hand.

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    For in-depth guidance about posting your workers to France, enlist our team of legal experts today. Contact Us

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      The Business Obligations For Posting Employees In France

      When posted workers commence a role in a country other than the one in which they usually reside for professional purposes, their employment contract remains in place and they are protected by a range of obligations and responsibilities from that employer.

      The employer’s obligations include (but are not limited to):

      • Notifying the French labour inspectorate of the location/s in which the posted employees will work, information on them and their role and on the employer itself. This is known as the ‘prior declaration of posting’. The labour inspector may visit and audit the site/s as desired and interview employees.
      • Preparing and supplying relevant documents listed by the French Labour Code to the labour inspector as requested quickly upon request.
      • Designating a representative in France to act as a point of contact between the employer and the labour inspectorate. This person must be physically present on French soil for the duration of the posted workers’ assignments in the country.
      • (Where posted employees perform, manage or oversee construction or public works) Applying for a BTP professional identification card (Carte d’Identification Professionnelle BTP).
      • (Where posted employees perform, manage or oversee construction or public works) Establishing or proving affiliation to a paid leave fund often known as a ‘bad weather’ fund). In France the rights of employees working in this sector are governed by extended collective agreements and so overseas employers must meet these obligations too.
      • (Where the foreign employer managing posted workers is a temporary employment agency) Meet the legal provisions specific to temporary employment in France.

      The employer’s obligations ensure compliance with ‘core’ areas of French labour code law, where applicable for the relevant industry. Failure to meet these obligations can result in fines (up to €4,000 per posted employee or up to €8,000 per posted employee in the event of repeated offences, with a maximum total of €500,000). Foreign companies may also face sanctions in a professional capacity; restricting or even halting their business activity in France.

      The Working Rights of Posted Workers While In France

      When employees from overseas are temporarily posted in France, they may benefit from the ‘core provisions’ of French labour law if they’re considered to be more favourable than their existing employment contract. There are sector-specific rules, but the following are general workers rights under French law.

      Remuneration rights

      Foreign workers posted in France are entitled to earn a salary equivalent to the country’s minimum wage but also to the same role being completed by a worker employed by a French company on French soil. Such comparison should be made on gross pay without the consideration of any professional expenses paid. The user company must be able to prove this comparison has been made fairly and that at least a competitive salary is being paid.

      An employee posted in France is also entitled to the remuneration of professional expenses incurred as a result of them performing their duties abroad. This includes transport, meals and accommodation.

      Statutory working hours provision

      French labour law includes the statutory provision of a maximum amount of working hours. No more than 35 core working hours may be worked in any one-week period, with anything worked over this legally constituting overtime.

      Further limits exist, further to which no more work may be requested. These are:

      • No more than 10 hours a day
      • No more than 48 hours a week
      • No more than 44 hours a week over a period of 12 consecutive weeks

      Mandated rest periods include a minimum break of 20 consecutive minutes after a six-hour work period, and a minimum of 11 consecutive hours between two working periods. No employer established in France or abroad is allowed to request work more than six days out of seven a week.

      Health and safety requirements and medical management

      All companies with employees operating in France must ensure that their working conditions comply with the legal health and safety standards in place under French labour codes.

      One such requirement is that of medical monitoring, for which rules relating to posted workers apply prior to their posting as well as during. Specific medical examination requirements are covered by French law and are to be carried out ahead of their travel to the country as well as within the first three months of their arrival on French soil.

      Individual and collection workplace freedoms

      Rules applicable to French workers on individual and collective freedoms in the workplace also apply to those posted in the country. These include the right to expression, the right to strike and the right to equality and non-discrimination in the workplace.

      Accommodation provision for employees

      While user companies posting workers to France do not hold any obligation to provide accommodation for their employees, they must ensure that if they do, such housing complies with the French labour code.

      Requirements For Posting Australian Staff In France

      The foreign company posting employees to France does have a number of administration tasks to complete in order to meet their obligations on workers’ rights as well as legally notifying French authorities of the intention to hire Australian employees on French territory.

      Completing a SIPSI declaration

      The posting declaration is a necessary form to be completed for every professional project the employer established overseas wishes to perform in France. All posted workers, their roles and responsibilities are listed, as well as details given on the designated company representative present on French territory.

      A SIPSI posting declaration can be completed online but must be done entirely accurately with all known information included. It costs €35 to submit the declaration, and €12 per update as required. Failure to complete the declaration correctly can result in a €4,000 fine.

      Further declarations are required for posted workers completing professional duties in the road or maritime industries.

      Designating a representative of the user company established abroad in France

      During the posting period of any employee working on French soil, a point of contact for the foreign employer must also be present in the country.

      This company representative acts as the point of contact for the labour inspectorate as required and is also usually known by the foreign workers to answer any administrative queries they may have.

      Issue every posted worker with details of their workers rights

      Where the posting of workers involves the completion of duties in the construction or public works sectors, each employee must be informed of their rights under the French labour code. This is to be done in writing, in any language requested by the employee.

      Workers’ rights documents must include general information on professional law and guidelines, as well as details on wages, working hours and health and safety requirements.

      A workers rights document must be provided to the posted worker at the same time as their BTP card.

      Issue every posted employee with a BTP card

      All foreign employees working on construction or public works projects must be in possession of a BTP card while at work, demonstrating their eligibility to legally work on French territory for the duration of their posting period.

      A BTP card is a personal identification document that must be presented to the French labour inspectorate or other authorities as requested. The following details are listed on a posted employee’s BTP card:

      • Full name and gender
      • A recent headshot
      • The name of the user company established abroad
      • The SIREN number of the user company
      • The registration number of the card and the date of its issue
      • An RQ barcode to be scanned for further record access

      All cards are subject to physical security features to prevent duplication or falsification of them.

      BTP cards are ordered directly from the relevant French immigration and work authorities, with individual applications made by the user company on behalf of every posted worker. BTP cards cost €45 per employee, with any amendments to the card’s details costing a further €12.

      Posting Employees In France: Step By Step Process

      Immigration law around the professional posting of individuals from Australia to France can be complex and convoluted. The following, therefore, is a general guide to doing so – but should not be considered a comprehensive or all-encompassing instruction.

      Appoint a legal representative

      A law firm such as Total Law should be enlisted for their support throughout the posting process. Navigating the law applicable to your business and industry can be tricky and so thorough legal advice will help maximise the chances of success of any application made and ensure all social security and labour laws are adhered to. Give the Total Law team a call on +44 (0)333 305 9375 to discuss your circumstances.

      Ensure the employment contract terms are updated

      Where France offers more competitive working practices under their labour laws, the existing employer must update their contracted offering for those being posted to meet the new standards. Such updates may only apply while the employee is in France and so the wording of any contract must be legally appropriate.

      Complete SIPSI declaration

      The prior declaration of posting must be filed online by the employer at least one day prior to the posting of workers. The prior declaration details the employees’ information as well as that on the project to be completed. If the SIPSI declaration is not made ahead of the worker arriving on French soil, a hefty administrative fine may be payable by the employer and the posted workers may not be legally employed.

      Book employee to be posted visa application interview

      Employees to be posted must attend an in-person visa interview at their local French Consulate. The appointment for this must be pre-booked and is usually managed by the employer, with them arranging travel to and from the Consulate as well as providing any appropriate documentation.

      Employee validates long stay visa online

      If the posting of workers is intended for a professional project in which any one employee stays in France for less than 12 months, then that employee should validate their own long stay visa online. Where such assignments last longer, the employer will need to make the necessary arrangements for residency, social security requirements and visa permissions.

      Commence project in France

      Once everything has been put into place and the French authorities have signed off the right for the workers to be posted, the employees concerned are free to travel to France and begin work.

      Our immigration team has helped hundreds of businesses send employees to France successfully. Contact Us

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        Processing Time Of The Applications

        There is no fixed period for the processing of applications for workers to be posted from Australia to France and so it is always recommended that companies who post employees file such requests as far in advance as possible.

        Anecdotally, such requests take between two to four months on average to be processed and a decision made.

        To expedite the process, businesses can streamline their efforts through the use of a specialist legal team such as Total Law, who will file and manage all relevant administration. Total Law’s team can be contacted on +44 (0)333 305 9375.

        Extending The Posting Period Of Employees

        If a professional project is likely to last longer than the originally intended posting period, and the employees agree to stay on to work in France, employers may be able to extend the legal permissions to keep them legally resident and employed in the country.

        For 12-month posting periods, an extension of up to another six months is usually open for application – but only providing all of the original criteria for the posting remains met. It is usually easiest for businesses to navigate the extension process with legal guidance. Total Law can help – call us on +44 (0)333 305 9375 to discuss your firm’s requirements.

        How Can Total Law Help?

        Total Law’s team of immigration lawyers are specialists in professional posting and can help employers of all shapes, sizes and types navigate the temporary assignment of their staff in France. We can manage and file all required administration as well as juggling the HR needs for Australian territory.

        Call the Total Law team today on +44 (0)333 305 9375 or message us online, to discuss your business’ needs. We understand the balance to be drawn between Australian and French working practices and are experts in navigating such. Don’t let your admin hold back your professional service provision – let us do the work and make it happen successfully and efficiently.

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                  Frequently Asked Questions

                  A SIPSI declaration of intention must be made at least one day before the arrival of foreign workers; but it is always recommended it is done as far as advance as possible.

                  The French Consulate General can be found in Sydney at Level 26, St Martins Tower, 31 Market Street, Sydney NSW 2000, and the Embassy of France in Canberra at 6 Perth Avenue, Yarralumla, Canberra ACT 2600.

                  There is no requirement for posted workers to speak French, but in most cases employers facilitate the training of their employees to do so at least conversationally.

                  Under the French family leave statutory provisions, employees must be paid to take the leave they are entitled to – whether or not they stay in a French territory for the duration of that leave.

                  Employers must grant all employees the option not to work 1st May each year, but must pay them regardless. If this day must be worked for the continuation of professional duties, it should be reimbursed in lieu paid time off.

                  If employees are working on less favourable terms that their equivalent colleagues in France, their contract and working conditions must be adjusted to meet theirs equally. Total Law can help advise on what needs to change and how this can be managed. Call us to learn more on +44 (0)333 305 9375.