What is the change? French labor inspectors are conducting unannounced inspections of companies under a recent law that requires employers to keep extensive documentation of posted foreign workers on file.

What does the change mean? Employers should review their policies and documentation to make sure they are in compliance with all of the labor rules, including the appointment of a legal representative by the sending company and retention of all required documents by the French branch office or host company.

  • Implementation time frame: Immediate and ongoing.
  • Visas/permits affected: The new decree is to be enforced for all foreign workers, including those on detatchment (détaché) status and intracompany transferees (mission en salarié).
  • Who is affected: Companies sending posted workers to France and French host companies.
  • Business impact: Employersface fines, jail time and suspension of service agreements if they are found to be in violation of the rules for posted workers.

Next steps: Employers should be aware that the Labour Inspectorate may appear without notice to inspect their premises and records.

Background: The inspections are being conducted to enforce a March 2015 decree that imposes exacting requirements on companies sending posted workers to France and on French host companies.

Sending companies must appoint a legal representative as a liaison with the Labour Inspectorate. The legal representative or branch offices must keep extensive documentation and make it available for inspection. Documentation includes employment and pay records, work permits, medical certificates, proof of compliance with social insurance laws, timesheets and proof of payment of wages, detailed business records and more.

French companies hosting posted foreign workers must keep copies of the detachment declaration, work permits for non-EU nationals and letters designating a representative for the company in France.

A regulation in December allows authorities to suspend service agreements and impose administrative fines of up to €10,000 per employee if they find that companies have breached pay and working rights of posted workers.

BAL Analysis: France has recently taken numerous steps to tighten labor and immigration rules for posted workers, and the surprise inspections are another indication that inspectors will be strictly enforcing the new rules.

This alert has been provided by the BAL Global Practice group and our network provider located in France. For additional information, please contact your BAL attorney.

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