To combat the use of illegal labour and unfair competition, the French Government has put in place a professional identity card in the construction sector. The construction worker’s card is a requirement for every posted worker doing, managing or organizing construction work or civil engineering in France.
Everyone affected by this measure must be in possession of his personal construction worker’s card when at a construction site. It may be checked at any time by labour inspectors, tax officials, etc. This new requirement is part of the “Macron law” no. 2015-990 of 6th August 2015 for growth, activity and equality of economic opportunity.
GETTING THE CONSTRUCTION WORKER’S CARD
The application process is fully computerised and is done online at the official French government website portal: www.cartebtp.fr. You need to create an account in the name of your company and make an application for each posted employee on French soil. The following information is needed to create your account: your company’s identification number in the register of companies, your logo, the name and address of the legal representative and the account administrator.
The foreign company is entitled to call upon a declaring third-party (agent) to create its account on cartebtp.fr and file the card applications for their posted employees. Many companies are making use of a French agent to handle the administrative steps, given that the official website is accessible in French only.
The construction worker’s card must be requested after prior submission of the certificate of secondment on the website www.sipsi.travail.gouv.fr and compulsorily before the secondment contract begins. The duration of validity of the card depends on the situation of the employee (temporary worker, fixed term, permanent, etc.). With respect to posted workers, the card is valid only for the duration of the secondment. A construction worker’s card is required for each new posting.
Once the application and payment for the card have been made, it is sent directly to the foreign company. The delivery period may vary depending on the country of the company. Until the construction worker’s card is received, a temporary certificate of identification is available to download from the website (as a PDF) to act as proof of submission of the application.
CONTROL AND PENALTY
If the company fails to fulfil this requirement, it can be penalised by up to 2,000 € per employee and up to 4,000 € in the case of a repeat offence. Very severe penalties are imposed upon companies. The French Government wants to regulate the sector and restore a form of fair competition by heavily penalising companies that do not play by the rules, as well as the contractors and project managers. The latter are jointly responsible and have an obligation to check that the employees of their co-contractors and their direct and indirect subcontractors are actually in possession of a construction worker’s card or a temporary certificate.
CHOOSING A DECLARING THIRD PARTY TO HANDLE THE ADMINISTRATIVE FORMALITIES OF YOUR SECONDMENTS
Reporting requirements and formalities are sometimes complex and can undergo rapid changes. It is therefore important to choose a reliable declaring third-party, an expert in the field. Three criteria must be taken into account when choosing a declaring third-party:
A presence in the country: many foreign companies are forming subsidiaries in France to offer the service of representation and declaring third-party. It is advisable to make sure that the company is genuinely established in France. Only a French company can have genuine knowledge of the market and the legislation in force.
A contact person who speaks your language: in dealing with technical issues, it is preferable to deal with a person who speaks your language. Choosing an international company which assists its clients in their native language is a key point to consider in the choice of a service provider.
Experience: this is one of the most difficult aspects to assess, given that the service of the declaring third-party for the construction worker’s card or the administrative management of the salaried posted workers is a relatively recent innovation. However, it is important to ascertain the solidity of the company and establish its core activity. The ideal service provider needs to have worked for a number of years in company law and to be familiar with dealing with the French authorities.
FIND OUT MORE ABOUT THE SECONDMENT OF FOREIGN WORKERS TO FRANCE
ASD, an international company based in France, offers a management service handling the formalities covering salaried posted workers. We deal with the preparation of the prior secondment declaration, the construction worker’s card, management control, etc. Do not hesitate to contact a sales consultant for more information or visit our page on secondment of salaried workers.