The obligation to apply for a BTP Card in France is in force since March 17, 2017, following the so-called Macron law no. 2015-990 of 6 August 2015 for growth, activity and equal economic opportunities: this applies also to posted workers to France, and whenever working at a building or public works site.
Employers whose employees perform, manage or organise, even on an occasional, secondary or ancillary basis, construction or public utility works have to apply for the BTP Card for employees involved in these services.
What is the BTP Card
The BTP (Batiment et Travaux Publics) card is a professional card the Union des Caisses de France CIBTP for workers in the construction or public works sector issues. The identified card contains the worker’s main personal data and a photo ID.
In case of inspection, the worker must show this document to the labour authorities when requested, in order to prevent irregular work and unfair competition.
Who must apply for the BTP Card
The BTP card is compulsory for all workers who carry out one or more of the activities listed in Article R. 8291-1 of the French labour code. These activities take place on construction sites or public works sites, and are:
- installation and dismantling of prefabricated elements, interior or exterior fittings or equipment;
- restoration or renovation;
- demolition or transformation;
- cleaning, maintenance or repair of works
- overhaul or restoration, and
- painting and cleaning related to such works and all directly related operations.
The obligation applies not only to companies established in France. In fact, also foreign companies established abroad that post their workers to France, are subject to this requirement. Similarly, temporary workers are also subject to this provision.
Exemptions from the BTP Card
However, there are some exemptions to the BTP Card. Some specific categories of workers are in fact exempted, such as:
- Workers who do not directly perform the work:
- Workers who do not physically go to the site (e.g. managers, heads of support services such as payroll management).
- Employees who do not carry out physical operations and direct supervision of worksites.
- Trainees (bearing in mind that the tutor must be able to present documentation proving trainee status).
- Workers who carry out a cleaning activity if this takes place after the delivery date of a worksite (construction of a work or other, such as an interior fitting out or renovation site, etc.).
- Architects, building surveyors, surveyors, health and safety coordinators, drivers and delivery men, experts and appraisers, including when working on a construction or public works site.
- Employees working on a construction site for a private individual.
How to get the BTP Card and its validity
The posting employer who is sending one or more workers for construction and building works must apply for a BTP Card after having sent the SIPSI posting notification.
In any case, the BTP Card must be requested before the start of the provision of service.
The procedure is entirely electronic and takes place on the official website of the French administration. Basically, the application process takes place in a few simple steps:
- After creating an account for your company, you can import each employee’s data directly from the SIPSI portal;
- You could do that after the previous submission of the preliminary posting declaration on the French site;
- You will then need to upload a photo ID of the employee involved and confirm the request by paying the service charge;
- In addition, a BTP Card will be issued for each worker for whom it is requested.
The BTP Card is valid for the entire duration of the posting as indicated on the SIPSI notification to which it is linked. Accordingly, the system automatically updates the validity of the document even in the event of an extension or modification of the posting period in the prior posting declaration. Moreover, in the event of a new SIPSI notification, it will be necessary to reapply for a new BTP Card for the worker(s) involved.
Penalties for non-compliance
In the event that non-compliance with the obligation to apply for a BTP card take place, the employer can be sanctioned with an administrative fine.
The maximum amount of the fine is €4,000 per employee and €8,000 in the event that the offence occurs again within two years from the date of the first violation.
However, the total amount of the fine may not exceed €500,000 per company.