There’s a growing debate in France regarding the intra-European secondment of employees who come to France to work. The subject is a delicate one because it is close to the matter of social dumping. Employees arriving from Central and Eastern Europe are seconded to France to work on projects, often construction sites, and are paid salaries that defy the French competition, leading to complaints of unfair and disloyal competition.

Moreover, this work is not always properly declared to the authorities and may not be properly regulated.

Certain municipalities have taken their own measures to prevent this, for example by imposing clauses Molière, named after the iconic French playwright (the French Shakespeare). These clauses require that employees must speak French if their employer wishes to respond to a call for tenders. The justification is one of safety and compliance with administrative processes and regulations. However, the validity of such rules is debatable as they might go against European non-discrimination principles.

Secondment rules have been reexamined before the European Commission with various changes being proposed. Employers should keep a close eye on this evolving matter.