EU moves against French minimum wage law

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The European Commission is to take legal action against France and Germany owing to the consequences of the application of their minimum wage legislation to the road transport sector.

The French legislation is due to come into force on 1st July.

The commission said that the systematic application of the minimum wage legislation by France and Germany to all transport operations touching their respective territories restricts in a disproportionate manner the freedom to provide services and the free movement of goods.

The commission launched an infringement procedure regarding Germany in May 2015 and has been holding talks with the German authorities with a view to reaching an amicable solution. “However, neither the reply of the German authorities to the letter of formal notice nor the subsequent discussions have dispelled the Commission’s main concerns,” the commission said in a statement.

The French and the German authorities now have two months to respond to the arguments put forward by the Commission.

The Freight Transport Association has challenged the French legislation. Chris Welsh, director of global and European policy, said: “FTA is delighted that the European Commission supports its view that the application of this new employment rule needs to be reconsidered because, as stated by the Commission itself, it would restrict in a disproportionate manner the freedom to provide services and move goods in the EU.”

* The European Commission decided today to refer Denmark and Finland to the Court of Justice of the EU for failing to properly apply the “cabotage” rules on access to the international road haulage market.

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