Posted workers: the ECJ makes it easier to combat fraud

France’s Retirement Pension Fund for Professional Air Crew in Civil Aviation has been denouncing fraudulent E101/A1 (“posting” certificate) practices for many y ears. These practices are particularly harmful to France’s social security system, including CRPNPAC.

On Tuesday, February 6, 2018, the Court of Justice of the European Union ruled that a certificate issued to a worker allowing them to remain a member of their home country’s social security system can be disregarded, in the event of fraud, by a host country court.

This unprecedented ruling, which CRPNPAC had been anticipating, marks a shift in European case law by setting aside the doctrine of conclusive presumption of legality for E101/A1 certificates.

The groundwork has now been laid: in the event of fraud, if the home country institution does not withdraw an E101/A1 certificate once the host country institution has documented the existence of doubts as to the certificate’s validity under European Union law, a host country court can then use its own authority to disregard that certificate.

This ruling is a warning for airlines operating out of France, as well as for certain EU member States’ social security institutions: National judges now have the power to act on E101/A1 certificate fraud, with all the consequences that that entails.

CRPNPAC Chair Michèle Pairault-Meyzer has this to say: “This ruling, which we had been anticipating for many years, will have a very positive bearing on the litigation that is currently before France’s Court of Cassation, including our case against the Irish airline Ryanair. This undoubtedly marks the end of certain practices by certain airlines which had been using ‘posting’ certificates as nothing but instruments to commit social security fraud, with CRPNPAC, our members, and contribution-paying airlines as their primary victims.