The French Government has published an Order extending the employment rights of workers posted to France, in line with the provisions of the 2018 Posted Workers Directive. This order will take effect in July 2020.

By: Jean-Benoit Cottin

Firm: Capstan Avocats

A Government Order of 20 February 2019 transposes the 2018 Posted Workers Directive (Directive (EU) 2018/957 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 28 June 2018 amending Directive 96/71/EC concerning the posting of workers in the framework of the provision of services) into French law.

Equal treatment

The Labour Code already contains a list of provisions relating to the regulations applicable to posted workers, known as ‘hard core’ rules. These lay down the minimum rights guaranteed to posted workers in the following areas:

  • individual and collective freedoms in the employment relationship;
  • discrimination and professional equality between women and men;
  • maternity protection, maternity and paternity leave and childcare leave, leave for family events;
  • conditions for the provision and guarantees due to workers by companies carrying out temporary work activities;
  • exercise of the right to strike;
  • working hours, compensatory rest periods, public holidays, paid annual leave, working hours and night work for young workers;
  • conditions for being eligible for leave and bad weather funds.

This list of guaranteed rights is supplemented in the new Government Order with a more general statement of the principle of equal treatment with workers of companies established on French national territory. In particular, posted workers must be treated equally in terms of remuneration with workers normally employed in France (rather than merely being entitled to the minimum wage, as previously). They may also be reimbursed for professional expenses incurred in the performance of their duties, such as transportation, meals and accommodation.

Time limit on the posted workers regime

The posting of workers regime will be limited to 12 months (with the possibility of a further six-month extension). From now on, where a secondment exceeds 12 months, from the thirteenth month, the posted worker will no longer be subject only to the ‘hard core’ rules but to the provisions of the Labour Code applicable to companies established on French territory (with the exception of certain provisions).

If a posted worker is replaced by another posted worker working in the same role, the 12-month secondment period will be calculated by adding the posting periods of successive workers in the same position.

Sanctions and entry into force

Failure to comply with these provisions will be penalised by administrative fines.

The new measures are scheduled to enter into force on 30 July 2020, in line with the date of entry into force provided for in the Directive.