A1 certificates must be produced during workplace inspections in France
As from April 1, 2017 France can impose fines if employees to France have no A1 certificate. If Dutch employers post employees to France they should take care to apply for an A1 certificate.
5 april 2017
If Dutch employers post employees to France they should beware of the so-called A1 certificates as from April 1, 2017. These certificates serve as proof that employees continue to be covered by Dutch social security legislation during their secondment to France. Employees who are posted to France (or other EU Member States and countries the Netherlands has a social security agreement with) can remain in the Dutch social security system during their posting for a period capped at two years. This period can be extended to five years, provided the French authorities agree to the extension. The A1 certificate is applied for by the posting Dutch employer.
Posted Workers Directive
Like other EU Member States France has implemented the Posted Workers Directive in its national legislation. The Directive mainly serves to guarantee good working conditions for posted workers. The French 2017 social security financing law has created a new requirement for posted workers.
A new article in the French social security code increases employers’ obligations for posted workers. The article stipulates that workers performing salaried or self-employed activities in France while being covered by another State's social security system must have their certificate of applicable social security legislation available at their workplace, so inspection officials can check it. The article entered into force on April 1, 2017.
The A1 certificate can be produced:
- by the worker,
- or, for salaried workers, by their employer or the latter's representative in France,
- or by the prime contractor located in France for whom services are being provided.
A failure to produce an A1 certificate form or an A1 form request during an inspection is subject to a penalty. The penalty will be collected by the organizations in charge of collecting the social security contributions (URSSAF). The penalty amount is based on the current monthly social security ceiling (EUR 3,269 as of January 1, 2017). This amount will be doubled if the failure to produce an A1 form or A1 form request lasts for two years. The penalty is not applicable if proof of submission of a request for the form is provided at the time of inspection, and the form issued as a result of that request is produced within a two-month period following the inspection.
Hence, it is important for Dutch employers to apply for the A1 certificate before the posting starts and to keep the granted A1 certificate in the company’s administrative records.