Freight News, Road

Transport associations call for standstill on new French law

[ June 14, 2016   //   ]

The Freight Transport Association (FTA) and FTA Ireland (FTAI) have called for urgent postponement of a new French employment requiring all drivers and similar road workers visiting the country to carry documents proving they earn the country’s minimum wage.

With just 15 days before the 1 July deadline, the situation for operators remains woefully unclear, say the associations. The French government has still not given full guidance to foreign operators, promised in a ‘frequently asked questions’ document.

FTA and FTAI are calling for a postponement of the entry into force new provisions until there is more clarity and has asked the European Commission for support. It has also asked the Commission to speed up publication of its own investigation into the legal basis of the provisions in the Single Market.

FTA’s EU affairs manager, Chris Yarsley, said: “The sector must be given more time to adapt business practices before any enforcement takes place.”

Under the new law, any transport company operating in France muct submit a ‘posting’ certificate for each worker, which must be renewed every six months. The employer must also appoint a company representative in France, responsible for liaising with staff of the enforcement body for the duration of the transport operation plus 18 months, which will be difficult for companies that do not have an office or branch in France. Drivers must keep in their vehicle a copy of their employment contract and the certificate of posting – any breach of the rules will lead to a fine.

Mr Yarsley added: “The requirement to keep paper documents on board the vehicle is a step backwards and will lead to documents getting lost as drivers are moved around. And who are these ‘representatives’ that are supposed to hold private information on the drivers working on a UK contract? We must be given more information by the authorities.”

FTA Ireland general manager, Neil McDonnell said that he had written to the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade on the matter, and will be referring it to the Minister for Transport.


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