French court orders Ryanair to pay €8m on labour breach
Fines and damages linked to treatment of local workers hired on foreign contracts
Michael O’Leary of Ryanair. The Irish airline, known as a pioneer of no-frills travel, airline has been on trial in France on charges covering a range of alleged labour code violations connected to its Marseille operating hub between 2006 and 2010. Photograph: Aidan Crawley/The Irish Times
A French has today court ordered low-cost carrier Ryanair to pay over €8 million in fines and damages over labour code breaches linked to treatment of local workers hired on foreign contracts.
The no-frills airline was on trial in France on charges covering a range of alleged labour code violations connected to its Marseille operating hub between 2006 and 2010.
The court in southern France ordered Ryanair to pay €200,000 of fines, in addition to €4.5 million of backdated social charges, €3 million in pension contributions and €450,000 in unemployment charges.
The court found Ryanair had breached the labour code by not paying French social and other charges for workers hired abroad but who spent much of their time at the Marseille hub.
Ryanair had said in a statement issued yesterday that it had expected a negative ruling and would appeal it. “We will appeal... on the basis that European employment and social security law clearly allows mobile workers on Irish-registered aircraft, working for an Irish airline, to pay their taxes and social taxes in Ireland, ” the statement read.
Ryanair has since shut its permanent Marseille hub and operated a summer-only operation since April 2011.