Posting workers to France

If you are a company based in Europe and you wish to send workers to France on a temporary basis, you will need a representative in France.

Required by law to based in France throughout the contract, the representative is the link between your company and the French Labour Inspectorate, the 'Inspection du Travail.

The website of the Ministère du Travail explains more about this here:

including sections on:

The posting regime : conditions and formalities to comply with
Before the posting : compulsory preliminary formalities
During posting : rights guaranteed to the employee
Minimum wage
Hours of work
Health and safety in the workplace

Your company and/or your representative must be familiar with the legislation. Failure to comply can result in work on site being stopped and, ultimately, heavy fines.

On site interpreter

Unless you already have a member of staff who speaks fluent French, you are likely to need an interpreter on site throughout your contract.

Many business people in France speak some English, but not enough to conduct detailed conversations about the project. You are also likely to find that you must work alongside other contractors, usually French, whose staff may speak no English at all. Additionally, you are likely to need to hire containers, offices, changing rooms etc. as well as plant, machinery and tools, along with finding somewhere for your workers to live during their time away.

It makes sense therefore to employ the same person as representative, interpreter and admin helper. The necessary documents can then be held on site in case of a visit from the Labour Inspectorate and the interpreter is on hand at all times to help with any difficulties in communication and with hiring equipment.

Companies from Europe often use, or are required by the client to use, an English to French interpreter, since English is the most commonly spoken language in Europe. Most team leaders speak English, so this cuts down the need for the interpreter, who on a large project cannot possibly be everywhere at once!

Advance planning

If you are intending to tender for a contract in France it is better to familiarise yourself with the legal requirements and likely costs involved before you make your bid.

You need to:

- know what paperwork will be required before you start the contract
- make sure that your staff are suitably qualified (if necessary) and up to date with their social insurance contributions
- arrange for translations of qualifications, work permits, machinery operating licences etc
- find out the minimum wage for your workers. Posted workers should be paid the same salary as their counterparts and you need to know if a French collective bargaining agreement, or "convention collective" applies.
- write updates, or "avenants" to your workers' contracts if necessary, ensure that they comply with French law
- investigate the type and cost of accommodation available locally. Be aware that there are rules about the standard of accommodation, its size, number of beds, distance between beds, number of bathrooms etc
- find out what you will need to provide in the way of offices, containers and equipment. At busy times these can be hard to find and must be booked in advance.

More information

Please contact me for more detailed information and, if you wish, a sample contract. Email francemadeeasy at gmail dot com