Work Permit / French Labour Laws

Hi Survive France Community,

I wonder if you can help me with a work permit question?

We are a small UK joinery company and we have recently made a kitchen for a British client’s French holiday home. This is a bespoke kitchen and we are sending 4 of our staff (who made it) out to install it in September. As our guys made it, they really are the only people who can fit it.

They will be employed by us (UK company) for the duration of their trip and will not be employed by any French company or individual. We will also cover all their travel and living expenses. They will be in France for 7 days.

I am having trouble getting any information from the French Embassy / Consulate on whether we will require any form of work permit. The only response I get is that our guys will not require a visa as their stay is under 90 days.

Does anyone know if we will need to get work permits?

Any info would be gratefully received.

Many thanks

Have a look at this…

Unfortunately it doesn’t seem as if artisans are exempted on short term contracts, only artists. i imagine that the French Embassy were trying to pretend you didn’t ask the question as a lot of paper for 7 days.

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There’s a UK Govt reference which might be of help.

Beyond which, following Brexit, I’m not certain.

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Please dont take my following view on your situation the wrong way but I think you should rethink your plans.
I was a building contractor in UK for many years and being a time served carpenter and joiner myself had within my company a large manufacturing workshop. We carried out contracts throughout the UK on many bespoke shop fitting contracts. The shop joiners made it and site teams fixed it.
Brexit has certainly got in the way of your plans and you now have to consider not only the export of manufactured goods but also how to install them.
My first question would be - did you factor in all the administration costs that this no entails?
IMO your best course of action is to export the goods and employ local French registered artisans to install. There are plenty of english immigrant tradesman working here.
Working on line via video would work or, do some on line interviews and perhaps arrange to fly your chosen artisan to UK and your workshop to show them the intricacies of your bespoke kitchen.
Your situation is very typical of many small, and not so small, companies that have been skewed by Brexshit.


I agree with @JohnBoy entirely.
We had a bespoke kitchen made in UK for our new build well before Brexit which was shipped out to us. We then used a local contractor to install it and the kitchen supplier stood ready to answer any questions which puzzled the installer.
The result was perfection.
I’m sure that the bespoke guys would have loved a “free” holiday in France away from the factory and close supervision but you cannot deny that others equally have the skill and natural ability to perform well in such circumstances with appropriate drawings and instructions.


Surely this falls into the category “tricky to get right, but doable, pre-Brexit; ****ing impossible now”?


I have to agree with JohnBoy too.
You are a UK company, and you want to provide a service to a client in the EU. But a consequence of Brexit is that UK companies no longer have the right to freely provide services within the EU.
The UK wanted out of the free market and that’s what it got. Protecting your own economic area, which is what the UK is doing and what the EU is doing, is about prioritising your own workers and your own traders and your own manufacturers over workers, traders and manufacturers from outside your economic area. You would only get a work permit to employ UK workers to do the job if you could show that you had tried and failed to recruit French or EU workers with the appropriate skills.
Before Brexit you could have used the posted worker scheme for this, because no work permit was required.


Thanks everyone, really great to hear your thoughts. We do usually just do jobs within the UK and this is just a one off, but a complicated one off by the sounds of it!

bonne chance with the completion of your project @hollycue

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