Friday, July 1, 2016

Freight Group Warns International Road Haulage Drivers of New Mandatory French Regulations

Minimum Wage Rules Mean With Immediate Effect Two Vital Documents Must be Carried in Cabs
Shipping News Feature
FRANCE – EUROPE – The British International Freight Association (BIFA) has released an update to the enforcement of France’s minimum wage with regard to foreign transport vehicles entering the country. As of July 1, all road transport companies carrying out international journeys in and out of France or cabotage journeys within French territory will need to fill out the ‘Attestation relating to the posting of a worker’. The document has to be available in the cabin of foreign trucks that enter France for cabotage or international transport (only transit operations will not be covered), along with a copy of the work contract of the road haulage driver.

The certificate or ‘declaration’ is available on the link of the French Environment, Energy and Sea Ministry here. At the website of the ministry there is also a ‘FAQ’ about the new regulation which for example mandates that the foreign operator needs a fiscal representative in France. Other documents and information are now available in 8 different languages here.

Henceforth all companies will need to issue a certificate, filled out by the employer, containing information related to the mobile worker, to their employment contract, the worker’s salary and expenses, and the company’s entry in their national register. The form is drawn up in two copies, one is given to the posting worker to be kept in the vehicle with which the service is provided with and the other is kept by the borrowing company of the road or inland waterway transport mobile worker.

This certificate will be able to be issued for up to 6 months in case of frequent operations conducted in France.

All companies will need to nominate a ‘Representative’ in France who will be responsible for the record keeping element in case of any enforcement action by the state. The ‘Representative’ will need to keep for the duration of the posting + 18 months the following:

  • the certificate
  • pay slips
  • proof of payment made
  • copy of the designation (appointment) of the Representative
  • information on national collective agreements

This information can be e-documentation but should be presentable within ‘the shortest delay’. The certificate and a copy of the mobile worker’s employment contract (preferably translated) should also be present in the vehicle

French minimum wage is €9.61 per hour. At exchange prices of June 9, UK's minimum wage is €9.20 (£7.20), before the pound crashed. Now it is equal to around €8.60. Fines may be levied on those not in compliance. The outline of the fines are as follows:

  • €750 if the certificate is not present on vehicle.
  • €450 if the employment contract is not present on vehicle.
  • €2000 per worker if no certificate nor Representative in France.
  • Serious infringements will be given high priority in prosecution.

As the European Commission has decided to take legal action against both France and Germany owing to the consequences of the application of their respective minimum wage legislation to the road transport sector, the French authorities may decide not to issue fines, but this has not been confirmed. One might speculate that given Britain’s recent referendum result, it might be wise for UK hauliers to follow these new rules to the letter. Even if any prosecutions are overturned due to EC intervention this may not apply retrospectively to British operators.