On 1 July 2016, France introduced new regulations regarding the minimum wage for foreign lorry drivers on French soil. TimoCom has collected the six most important facts on the new minimum wage laws for you:
1. The Wage
For cabotage and freight delivery across borders with a starting point or destination in France, the French minimum wage (SMIC) for lorry drivers is currently set between EUR 9.73 and EUR 10 gross per hour. The wage depend on the weight of a vehicle and driver qualifications. The relevant wage can be viewed under the following link: http://www.developpement-durable.gouv.fr/IMG/pdf/EN_-_Remuneration_minimum_TR_marchandises_personnes_15_juin_2016.pdf
2. The Exception
Pure transit transport are not subject to these regulations. If France is just the transit country where no goods are loaded or unloaded within French borders, the criteria for application of the dispatch laws are not fulfilled and there is no minimum wage required.
3. The Certificate
The law also requires the driver to carry a posting certificate from their employer, as well as a copy of their employment contract (no translation required). The posting certificate form can be downloaded in French and English under the following link: http://www.developpement-durable.gouv.fr/IMG/pdf/cerfa_15553-01.pdf
The employer must also appoint a representative in France as a contact partner. Several sources (e.g. DSLV, Verkehrsrundschau – German Traffic Review) recommend GU- RETRUCK, a European service provider for transport companies with offices throughout Europe (guretruck.com).
5. The Fines
It is not just employers who will face fines of minimum EUR 1,500 if they do not comply with legally mandated minimum wages. Clients will also be forced to pay fines if the minimum wage law is not followed.
6. Initial Impressions
There are protests against the law from transport associations and unions from several countries. More than that: ministers of transportation from 11 EU memberstates have issued a joint statement protesting the fact that this law also apply to drivers from their countries. Brussels has introduced an infringement procedure and requested France to provide an opinion on the law, as they once did for Germany. According to the Commission, the minimum wage law introduces significant limitations to the free movement of goods.