International Posting of Workers in France

US companies can temporarily post their workers in France to fulfill a business mission or provide specific services. They must comply with a number of obligations before assigning their employees in the country.

If you are a US employer looking for more information and/or legal advice regarding posting of your employees in France, what are the obligations and how you can meet them, or any other requirements that you must be aware of, call us today on +1 844 290 6312 or send a message online, to speak with our legal team.

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    Posting Employees in France From the US

    A company based abroad can send their employees to France for carrying out a temporary business assignment. This is known as international posting of workers in France. In terms of receiving posted workers, France is currently the second-largest Member State in the EU.

    Such postings will always be on a temporary basis. The foreign employer will have to comply with a number of obligations in regard with French immigration and labor laws as well as social security policies, before they can assign their foreign national workers in the country.

    So, if a US business wishes to post their employees to France, they can do so provided they meet certain business and legal requirements. From 30 July 2020, due to the transposition of the EU directive 2018/957 of 28 June 2018, the employer obligations have further been strengthened.

    Please note that the posting of your staff in France will not, in any way, change the existing employment contract between you (i.e. the US company) and your employee(s), who are being temporarily assigned to France.

    In particular, the relationship of subordination between the employer and the employee, the payment of remuneration to the employee by the employer, and the performance of the employee’s work on behalf of the employer will not be impacted by their posting in France.

    Moreover, posting may allow an employee to remain affiliated with the social security scheme of the country in which their employer is located. This arrangement is governed by relevant conditions set by the EU regulations (applicable for employers based in the EU) and by Bilateral International Treaties (applicable for employers based outside the EEA or Switzerland).

    For countries with no bilateral social security agreement in place with France, employees posted to the country must be registered to the French public health insurance system.

    Since the US is linked to France by a bilateral convention on social security, an employee posted in France by their US employer will continue to be covered by the social security system of the US.

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    The Business Obligations for Posting Employees in France

    Overview

    International posting of workers in France may be within the framework of:

    • Intra-group mobility, i.e. where the foreign company’s workers are temporarily assigned to its French subsidiary or branch, or
    • A client contract, i.e. where the foreign company assigns their employees to their clients in France (also referred to as the host company), who receive those employees’ services as per terms agreed by both companies

    In both cases, there are certain obligations that the foreign company must fulfill, which we will discuss in detail in this section.

    Prior Declaration of Posting

    A foreign employer wishing to post their employees will have to send a prior declaration of that posting to the labor inspectorate of the work location in France. This declaration is known as the SIPSI declaration, is done electronically, and must be made before the work commences.

    The SIPSI declaration must contain all types of activities you would like your employees to perform in France, whether as a part of your French subsidiary or branch or at your clients’ locations. It should also mention all your workers attached to the same work type, and details of your representative in France.

    As part of the SIPSI declaration, you must be able to demonstrate that the work opportunity was not created solely for posting workers in France to whom a less favorable labor law may be applicable. You will have to prove that:

    • Your company has a significant activity in its country of origin, i.e. the US in the context of this article
    • Your business is established in the said country according to local laws and regulations
    • An employment contract between you as an employer and the posted employee(s) existed even before their posting in France, and such contract(s) will be maintained throughout the posting

    You must complete the SIPSI declaration in full. Any incomplete declaration may attract a fine of €4,000 per worker to be posted, and up to €8,000 in case of a repeat offense within two years of the first fine.

    Please note that there is a special declaration for workers posted in the road or maritime transport sectors. Each of them will require their own individual declaration.

    Designating a Representative of the Foreign Employer

    The foreign employer posting workers will have to appoint a representative in France, who will liaise between the company and the French labor inspectorate. This designation must cover the entire posting duration.

    Designating such a representative must be done prior to the SIPSI declaration, in which the representative’s details must be mentioned.

    The representative’s role is to fulfill the foreign employer’s obligations in France related to posting of their employees. In particular, the representative must retain all required documents relevant to the posting, and make them available for inspection by various authorities, such as labor inspectors, police and law enforcement services, tax and customs inspectors etc.

    Failing to present these documents for inspection may lead to immediate halting of the work as well as a fine ranging from €3,000 to €500,000.

    Cases Exempted From the Above Obligations

    For short-term assignments of less than 90 days over a 12-month period, a foreign employer can be exempted from making a prior declaration as well as designating a representative in France in cases of:

    • Artists involved in the fields of performing arts, film and audiovisual production, and broadcasting and phonographic publishing (excluding activities for assembling or dismantling temporary equipment or facilities, catering, transport, monitoring and site safety)
    • Athletes, referees and members of support teams for athletes, official delegates attached to the sport practice or organization
    • Apprentices on a temporary mobility posting in a company in France
    • Professors and researchers attending scientific conferences, seminars and events or participating in teaching activities on an occasional basis

    Moreover, where an employee is posted in France by their employer abroad, but there is no contract to provide any service to a French entity, it will be considered a posting for their own account. In such cases, the employer will not need to make a prior declaration of posting or appoint a representative in France.

    For example, if a US newspaper sends a journalist to France to cover any events, it will be considered a posting for their own account since the journalist is not providing any services in the country.

    Compulsory Information Documents

    This is an industry-specific obligation and does not apply to all foreign employers.

    However, if your company operates in the construction or public works sectors, it is your obligation as the foreign employer posting workers in France to ensure those employees are informed of the working conditions in the country.

    You can do so through various information documents, such as general information and guideline documents regarding wages, working hours, or health and safety protocols in France. Please ensure such documents are in a language that your employees understand.

    BTP Cards for Employees

    This is also a specific obligation for foreign employers posting employees in the construction or public works sectors in France.

    The Batiment et Travaux Publics (BTP) card is a professional card issued by the Union des Caisses de France CIBTP for workers in the construction or public works sectors.

    All workers in those sectors must have a BTP card, which is their personal identification document. The goal is to help the French authorities fight against illegal work arrangements in the country.

    A BTP card will contain the employee’s personal data such as:

    • First and last name
    • Gender
    • Photo
    • Business name of their employer
    • The company’s SIREN number
    • The card number and the date of issue

    There are also certain security elements in the card to prevent its falsification as well as an RQ code (i.e. a special bar code) to help French authorities access the information easily.

    Do you need help navigating the application process of posting employees to France? Speak with us today. Contact Us

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      New Rules for Posting International Workers in France

      Due to the transposition of the EU directive 2018/957 of 28 June 2018, certain new rules have been introduced in France since 30 July 2020 to the posting of foreign workers, similar to other EU Member States.

      The main changes introduced by these new rules are as follows:

      • Extension of the “hard core” employment regulations
      • Application of the French Labour Code from the 13th month of posting in France
      • Reinforced application of the equal treatment principle for posted workers
      • Consecration of the “Equal pay for equal work” principle
      • Strengthening of foreign employers’ obligations

      Foreign employers posting employees in France are required to comply with certain “core” elements of French law. From 30 July 2020, an explicit reference to the notion of “equal treatment” has been introduced in the French Labour Code.

      It will not be sufficient for foreign employers to just comply with these core elements of French labor laws when it comes to their posted employees in France. Instead, they will now have to guarantee that each posted employee will be treated equal to French workers under the same conditions.

      For the first 12 months of posting, only the “hard core” employment regulations will apply in case of posted employees. From the 13th month onwards, the entire French Labour Code will apply to posted workers, with some exceptions related to conclusion and termination of employment contracts, company pensions, non-competition obligations etc.

      Remuneration is one of the focus areas under the new rules. Posted workers must receive remuneration equal to that of local employees in France performing similar activities in the same sector, in accordance with the principle of “equal pay for equal work.”

      The gross total of a posted employee’s remuneration will be taken into account while verifying whether the foreign employer is in compliance with the principle of equality or not.

      Additionally, the posted employee will be entitled to the reimbursement of professional expenses, i.e. transport, accommodation and meals, which are now part of the “extended hard core.”

      The new rules have also brought about certain changes when it comes to the monitoring of foreign employers. The host company is obliged to inform the foreign company of all the rules applicable to posted workers in France, and will also have to check that the home company complies with the applicable provisions.

      Penalties for noncompliance have also increased under the new rules.

      Documentary Requirements for Posting Workers in France

      After a contract has been signed between the foreign company (i.e. the service provider) and the French entity (i.e. the service recipient), your designated representative will have to submit the following documents to the labor inspectorate within a maximum period of 15 days:

      • Work permit for your employees to perform salaried work in France
      • Medical certificate
      • A statement confirming working hours
      • Payslips. If the posting is for one month or more, the payslips must include the following information:
        • Minimum wage, plus any overtime if applicable
        • Working hours
        • Salary period
        • Holidays and public holidays
        • Conditions governing the employer’s liability to holiday insurance and bad weather schemes
        • Title of the branch collective agreement (i.e. an agreement between a registered union and the foreign employer) applicable to the employee(s)
      • If the foreign employer is outside the EU, its compliance certificate with a social security agreement, or the certificate of social declaration provided by the French social protection agency responsible for collecting social contributions, less than six-month old
      • Employment contract
      • Document certifying the law applicable to the contract between the service provider and the service recipient
      • Document certifying the number of contracts completed, and the amount of turnover generated by the foreign employer in its country of origin and in France

      If there is no commercial contract between the service provider and the service recipient, the following documents must be submitted within a maximum period of 15 days:

      • Medical certificate
      • If the foreign employer is outside the EU, its compliance certificate with a social security agreement, or the certificate of social declaration provided by the French social protection agency responsible for collecting social contributions, less than six-month old
      • Employment contract
      • Document certifying the law applicable to the contract between the service provider and the service recipient
      • Document certifying the number of contracts completed, and the amount of turnover generated by the foreign employer in its country of origin and in France

      If the above documents are not in French, you will have to provide their certified translation copies to the labor inspectorate.

      Our specialist advisors are equipped to position your application with the best possible chance of success. Contact Us

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        Posting Employees in France: the Step-by-Step Process

        You will start with making the SIPSI declaration to the “Direction régionale des entreprises, de la concurrence, de la consommation, du travail et de l’emploi” (DIRECCTE) in the area where your employees will be posted in France.

        You must appoint a representative in the country, who will be your liaison and spokesperson to the French authorities for the entire duration of the posting.

        The next step is to apply for French work permits for your employees, which will allow them to be lawfully working in France. All non-EU nationals will require work permits to be posted to France, unless their employer is based in a EU Member State and the employee:

        • Is a regular employee of the European company posting its workers
        • Owns a valid residence permit issued by the EU Member State, which will not expire during the posting period
        • Will occupy the same position while posted in France as in the country of origin

        US employers, however, will have to apply for work permits for their employees for posting them in France.

        For intra-group mobility postings with a duration of more than three months, the posted employee must have worked for your company for at least three months prior to the work permit application, and must provide specific expertise to the host company where they will be posted in France.

        Additionally, they must receive a gross total remuneration in France that is at least equal to 1.5 times the French minimum wage.

        If, on the other hand, you wish to post your employees at your client site in France, you must have an existing contractual employee-employer relationship prior to the posting, which will be maintained throughout the posting duration.

        Moreover, the posted employee’s salary must be equivalent to the salary of a French worker for the same job.

        You will have to submit the work permit application to the DIRECCTE along with necessary supporting documents.

        In case of intra-group mobility postings, the French consulate in the foreign company’s country of origin will send an employment contract endorsed by the French immigration services and a residence permit for “salarié en mission” (i.e. employee in assignment), renewable for three years, to the employee, if the application is successful.

        After arriving in France, the posted employee will have to justify annually that the initial recruitment and remuneration conditions are still met. The French immigration authorities may withdraw the employee’s resident permit in France otherwise.

        For employees to be posted at client sites in France, the French consulate in the foreign company’s country of origin will send an employment contract endorsed by the French immigration services and a long-term visa for “travailleur temporaire” (i.e. temporary worker) to the employee, if the application is successful.

        This long-term visa has a maximum duration of 12 months. However, the posted employee can apply to renew it for another 12 months.

        The posted employee will then be granted a work permit for “travailleur temporaire” that can be renewed annually for any number of times, throughout the posting duration.

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        Extending the Posting Period of Employees

        International posting of workers in France is by nature a temporary situation. The posting end date must be indicated in the posting order, and cannot be extended. The foreign company will have to proceed with a new application if an extension is required for the same employees.

        In case of intra-group mobility postings, the maximum authorized period for posting foreign employees in France is 36 months. In such a scenario, the duration of the employee’s residence permit will prevail over any bilateral conventions between France and the country of the foreign employer on social security.

        For example, the France-US Social Security Agreement sets forth a maximum period of five years, but the authorized posting duration will still be a maximum of 36 months.

        In case of a foreign company posting their employees at client sites in France, the maximum authorized duration of the first application is limited to the term of the residence permit, i.e. 12 months. A renewal is possible within the maximum time limit provided for in the bilateral convention on social security between France and the country of the foreign employer.

        In the absence of any bilateral conventions on social security, the renewal of the assignment in France is possible, if justified.

        How Can Total Law Help?

        Foreign companies sending their employees to work in France must comply with a set of obligations. Since 30 July 2020, the new rules have further strengthened these employer obligations.

        Posting international workers in France has been a sensitive topic in French political and public debate. Such postings have been claimed as causing pressures on domestic labor markets due to wage dumping, deteriorated working conditions, or fraudulent practices by the employers.

        Given this, French authorities are very strict when it comes to ensuring that foreign employers are following the stipulated regulations. Penalties for non-compliance can go up to €4,000 per posted employee or more.

        It is, therefore, advisable to seek legal help before as a US employer you post your employees in France.

        Total Law can help.

        We have a team of expert and sympathetic immigration lawyers, who can help you throughout the posting process, regardless of how complex your circumstances are.

        For more information regarding how we can help you with posting your employees in France, please call us on +1 844 290 6312 or message us online today, to speak with one of our legal advisers.

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                  Frequently Asked Questions

                  The French entity, which will be hosting the international workers posted in France, has the obligation to verify that the service provider (i.e. the foreign company) has fulfilled its preliminary posting obligations of a) making a prior declaration of posting to the relevant labor inspectorate and b) designating a representative in the country.

                  This verification must be made prior to the commencement of the posting.

                  No. It is not possible to declare several clients in the same SIPSI declaration. You will have to complete a separate declaration for each client.

                  Yes. If the client remains the same, you will just need to add the different site addresses, where your posted employees will be working in France, in your SIPSI declaration.