Project Description

Notification obligation for
foreign assignments

Meldepflichten bei Auslandsentsendungen und Dienstreisen

Meanwhile, almost all secondments within the EU are notifiable.

This also increasingly applies to special cases of business travel over a certain period of time.
In the course of 2017, these reporting obligations have been tightened in many countries.
Failure to comply may result in substantial fines.

The following case shows how fast a company can violate reporting obligations:

A German company had sent a sales representative to Switzerland for a day. As he passed the Swiss border in suit and tie in his company car, the customs shot directly a photo of his car and recorded the time. About 12 hours later, the officers took another photo of the commuter and shortly after pulled him out of circulation. Among other things, he was asked to provide proof of registration during the inspection.

The problem:
His company had violated the Swiss health and safety regulations and is now on the blacklist of companies doing business with Switzerland. Further misconduct could lead to the exclusion from the market.

New Posting Directive 2018

One of the reasons for the tightening of reporting obligations is the planned reform of the EU Posting of Workers Directive this year. Its rules state that workers posted to another Member State may rely on a number of core rights, but also duties, in the host Member State, even though they are still employed by the seconding company, and therefore the law of that Member State she is.

Although the reform does not explicitly provide for the obligation to notify, in the future it is intended to apply the same remuneration rules for posted workers from EU countries as in the host Member State, as laid down in legislation or universally binding collective agreements.

However, the general contractual freedom remains unaffected. In order to be able to verify this, Member States are introducing the obligation to notify.

Duty not implemented everywhere

Not all countries have so far implemented this reporting obligation, but the majority certainly. Particularly challenging for foreign companies is that the individual notification procedures differ from state to state – as well as the competent authorities. All too often, there are exceptions to specific activities that a worker should perform on the ground.

Very often, special regulations apply to the transport industry. As a rule, a specific representative must be reported in the country of activity, which has special obligations to fulfill during the posting period. In France, for example, hauliers have to appoint a representative. This rule is independent of the length of time an employee stays in France.

Anyone who does not abide by the rules, for which it can now be expensive.

Penalties for breach of duties

  • Germany: fine up to 20,000 euros
  • Switzerland: fine up to 2,000 francs
  • Finland: fine up to 10,000 euros
  • Austria: fine up to 10,000 euros
  • Luxembourg: Fines of 1,000 to 5,000 euros

For HR professionals this means that business trips and secondments in 2018 have to be prepared even earlier and more precisely than before. It is very important that those responsible deal with the employment contract regulations of the State of employment, the minimum local wages (and any necessary adjustments) as well as a detailed examination of the planned foreign employment of an employee.

It may also be necessary for HR managers to interact prematurely with a contact person in the country of activity to appoint them as representatives. In addition, it can not hurt to carry out a risk planning on expected sanctions, it should be clear in advance that deadlines and regulations are not sustainable.

In practice, many trusted with the subject experts, as the tightening of reporting obligations, especially in (even short-term) one- or multi-day missions abroad with a relatively low reaction rate of the health insurance and the DVKA should work.

As there is still no nationwide digitization in the registration process, the rules complicate the daily lives of HR and travel managers by a further multiple.

For every missing or incorrectly issued document, fines of between € 450 and € 750 have been levied since 23 July 2016. If a transport company has not appointed a representative in France, the French authorities may impose further fines of up to € 500,000.

The French authorities are also entitled to suspend the activity of a haulier within France in certain cases of serious or repeated infringement.

Reporting obligations and documentation requirements

Moreover, the obligation to register is almost always associated with documentation requirements.

That means:
No matter what country an employee is working for and has to be reported to – the bureaucratic procedure is different in each country, always complex and full of exceptions and peculiarities.

Although many national authorities provide information sheets in English, the often online-based reporting process itself usually takes place in the respective national language.

So who sends an employee to Luxembourg or even Finland, is thus almost insurmountable hurdles. In addition, there are sometimes monthly changes that can not possibly be permanently tracked. However, anyone who violates the sometimes new reporting obligations risks high penalties, which can even lead to a ban on competition.

For some companies, this could mean economic austerity.


For example, Austria imposes penalties of up to € 20,000 per employee and, in the worst case scenario, even denies access to the operating rooms by the respective assignee.

A contribution with kind permission of the BDAE group

© Kaesler Media-