The number of posted workers has fallen sharply since the health crisis

In 2021, France had an average of 57,500 posted workers, compared to 72,600 in 2019, before the Covid-19 pandemic.

It’s an undeniable decline. The number of posted workers was 57,500 in 2021, compared to 72,600 in 2019, according to the latest study by the statistical service of the Ministry of Labor (Dares) on the employment of posted workers in 2021. It counts the number of posted workers present on a given date in France. A figure therefore down 21%. But this level remains close to that reached in 2020 with 58,000 workers posted to France.

As a reminder, the posted worker scheme allows any company from a Member State of the European Union to employ, for a limited period, employees from another EU State.

Despite the lifting of travel restrictions due to Covid-19, the return of posted workers does not therefore seem relevant. Since 2020, the tone has actually hardened on this professional category to avoid any unfair competition. At the end of July 2020, new provisions on posted work entered into force at the level of European legislation in order to strengthen the protection of the employees concerned and to create a level playing field. Since then, an employee seconded to France by a foreign company is paid in the same way as an employee employed by a company in France, for a similar task. At the same time, the former Minister of Labor, Élisabeth Borne, pledged that French companies using posted workers would not benefit from the recovery plan, in a context of high unemployment. To this was added an increase in controls in order to fight against illegal work. It is difficult not to draw a parallel between this turn of the government and the significant drop in the number of posted workers which is continuing despite the end of the health crisis.

Last year, 615,000 secondments took place, compared to 700,000 in 2019. This represents 200,000 employees who were seconded one or more times to France by foreign companies. Postings whose duration has been somewhat shortened from 102 days in 2019 to 100 days in 2021.

Construction accounts for 45% of the employment of seconded employees

The construction sector is the one that has by far the most recourse to this system since 45% of the employment of seconded employees in France is in this area. The share of this sector has increased considerably since 2019, when only 34% of posted workers occur. Construction is followed by the industry sector which represents 28%. “ The use of posting is decreasing in sectors hard hit by the crisis, such as accommodation and catering “, specifies the Dares. Indeed, between 2019 and 2021, in services, the employment of seconded employees fell from 14,600 to 10,800 (-26%).

In terms of geographical distribution, it is clear that the use of posted workers is greater in the border departments. Ain comes first. The employment of seconded employees represents 1.67% of non-seconded private employee employment. Same observation on the side of the Alpes-Maritimes (0.93%) and in Moselle (0.95%).

Finally, with regard to the profiles offered in France, posted workers are almost all men (95%) and more than half are between 35 and 54 years old. At the 2019 stage, the vast majority are native to a member country of the European Union. The most present are the Portuguese (14%), the Romanians (10%) and the Poles (10%). In addition, more than 1 out of 3 posted workers perform services for companies of a different nationality from their own.

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