THE ECO SCAN – Portuguese Polish plumber or bricklayer, they are subject to recurring myths. But who are these employees “detached”? How many are there in France? In what context do they exercise? Lefigaro.fr you respond.
The abuse of the detached work within the European Union are increasing. More and more French territory, posted workers are often concealed from the French authorities by the companies that employ them. Explanations.
• What is a ‘posted worker’?
According to the definition of the European Directive of 16 December 1996 which frames its activity, “any worker who, for a limited period performs his work in the territory of a member State other than the State in which he normally works’ must be considered as being posted. It is therefore of employees that perform specific missions in another country of the European Union than that in which they work normally. The duration of the mission is so essential an “expatriate” worker, that is to say who usually works abroad, not being regarded as detached.
• In what regulations are they subject to?
the European directive makes it clear that EU Member States must ensure that “undertakings guarantee workers posted to their territory working conditions and employment which are laid down in the State on whose territory the work is done. ” But if the working conditions and wages that apply are those of the host country, the applied social charges are those of the country of origin. Which leads to social dumping in the EU, which threaten the European economic balance.
In March, the Commission presented a draft directive in which it intends to regulate the remuneration of workers detached, without necessarily tackle head on the issue of social charges. Supported by France and Germany among others, this text has aroused strong protest from the eastern countries.
• How much are they in France?
The National Commission for the Fight against illegal work estimated at 230,000 the number of posted workers in France in 2014 . an increase of 8% compared to 2013. However, this figure is largely underestimated: in 2013, the Senate already thought that between 220,000 and 300,000 workers were seconded illegally in France
• Which countries they come from?
Poland is now the first country to loosen its employees in France, ahead of Portugal and Romania. But contrary to popular belief, the overwhelming majority of posted workers comes from countries of the European Union: only 3% of them come from a country outside the EU
the construction industry is the champion of detached work, focusing on its own 37% of foreign employees, or 77,700 people, in 2013. the interim ( 31%) and industry (16%) completed the podium, according to a Senate report, however, that some areas have more recourse to posted workers, although to a lesser extent compared to the BTP. The number of posted workers in agriculture has increased over 1000% between 2004 and 2011.
• Why so much abuse?
Despite the existence of European regulations, abuses are increasing in France. Concealed work, employment of undocumented workers, non-compliance with health and safety standards: the detached work covers many facets of the illegal work. Fraudsters rely in particular increasingly to outsourcing “cascade”, which will hide more easily abuse. Polish posted workers who were working on the site of the Flamanville EPR had for example been recruited by a temporary employment agency whose offices were located in Cyprus but was based in Ireland. Some French workers are even detached … in France by their business, establishing their contract through a temporary agency abroad in a country where social costs are lower.
In order to limit the fraud the European Parliament adopted last year a new directive, which aims to increase the difference between the posted legal and illegal work, and strengthens controls. But European texts remain unclear. No mission time limit is set for example.
• How does France t fight it against these abuses?
In June 2014, Parliament passed a law transposing a European directive which establishes a joint responsibility between prime contractor and subcontractors. The first can be prosecuted if the latter resorting abusively to the posted work. They also face a removal of state aid for five years. Moreover, the government has tightened sanctions through an amendment of the law Macron, hoping to deter fraudsters. These now face a fine of € 500,000, against 150,000 previously.
These measures are however useless without control. Only 54 of offense have been identified in 2013. In February, Manuel Valls promised that the controls would be strengthened, particularly “in the 500 largest ongoing construction projects.” One of the COP21, an event on which the Executive lot to improve its image, shows that this is still wishful thinking.