Freight News, Road

Brussels takes France to task over driver wage rules

[ June 17, 2016   //   ]

The European Commission is to challenge France over its new minimum wage law for the transport sector following pressure from the Freight Transport Association (FTA).

FTA had called for urgent postponement of the new employment legislation due to come into force on 1 July that would require all foreign drivers and other road workers to carry documents to prove they earn the equivalent of the French minimum wage.

The Commission is to send a letter of formal notice to France – the first step in legal proceedings – for infringement of the freedom to provide services and the free movement of goods. The Commission says that while it supports the principle of a minimum wage, the French measures are disproportionate.

Under the new law, operators of foreign vehicles on French roads would have to submit a ‘posting’ certificate for each worker, which must be renewed every six months, and appoint a company representative in France to liaise with the country’s enforcement body 18 months following the transport movement concerned.

Moreover, with less than two weeks before the deadline, the French government has still not given full guidance to foreign operators.

FTA’s director of global and European policy, Chris Welsh, said: “On behalf of UK hauliers and customers, FTA’s team based in Brussels immediately raised concerns over the application of the minimum wage legislation to the road transport. This prompt action is vital to prevent the introduction of barriers to trade that would distort competition within the EU and will help ensure the proper functioning of the international market.”