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French Act No. 2018-771 of 5 September 2018 on the freedom to choose a professional future introduces more severe penalties for violation of provisions on the posting of workers.

On September 6, a new law came into force, which changes the amount of the fine imposed by the Labor Inspectorate for infringements of the provisions of the Labor Code. Some of them will be particularly important for foreign carriers, because they concern offenses related to the provisions on the posting of employees.

New penalties

Administrative penalties for violation of the French posting regulations will be stricter. The Act provides for EUR 3,000 fine imposed on the employer for one violation, i.e. 1 thousand more than before. On the other hand, in the case of repeated infringements – within two years from the first offense (not 1 year, until recently) – the penalty increased from EUR 4,000 up to EUR 6,000.

In addition, as provided for in the Act, the total amount of penalties may not exceed EUR 500,000.

Stricter penalties will be imposed on carriers after publishing the executive decree to the Act in the French Journal of Laws, i.e. most likely within the next two months.

Minimum wage in France, i.e. Loi Macron

Implementing regulations for Act No. 2015-990 on development, activities and equal economic opportunities, commonly known as Loi Macron, entered into force in France on 1 July 2016.

According to them, all international transport services provided to companies based in France as well as services provided on the territory of the country are subject to Loi Macron regulations. The new law, like the German MiLoG, does not include transit.

The obligations of carriers arising from Loi Macron

The French regulations impose the following obligations on foreign carriers transporting in France:

– the obligation to pay a minimum wage (SMIC) of at least EUR 9.88 gross per hour of work in France,

– the obligation to appoint a representative in France, who has a French telephone number and is fluent in French,

– an obligation to complete a certificate of posting for each driver,

– an obligation for the driver to have relevant documents translated into French,

– an obligation to keep employee records related to posting.

Opposition of foreign carriers

France is an important trading partner in the EU, and at the same time one of the most important transit countries in the European Union. Although the European Commission has initiated proceedings against France regarding the new regulations and sent a letter of formal notice to Paris, after more than two years, Violeta Bulc, European Commissioner for Transport, announced the suspension of proceedings against France.

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