Estimated reading time (in minutes)

Hiring foreign workers without the  required work  permits can result in serious financial penalties for employers. The French Office for Immigration and Integration (OFFI) imposes a special contribution on employers who hire   undocumented foreign employees . Since June 20, 2012, sanctions for employing foreign workers without a permit have been significantly increased, strengthening the sanctions incurred by employers. This article explores enhanced penalties and employer liability in such cases.

Increased penalties for employing foreign workers

Since June 20, 2012, penalties for employing foreign workers without the necessary work permits have undergone a substantial increase. The special contribution due to OFFI in this case is now set at a minimum of 5,000 times the guaranteed minimum (€17,200 based on the minimum wage rate in force on June 20, 2012). This amount represents a significant increase compared to the previous penalty of 100 times the guaranteed minimum. In the event of a repeat offense, the penalty is further increased to 25,000 times the guaranteed minimum (€86,000). These enhanced sanctions have a deterrent effect and highlight the seriousness of employing foreign workers without proper authorization.

Employer liability and reinforced sanctions

Employers are held fully responsible for ensuring that their employees have valid work permits. The special contribution to the OFFI is imposed on each employee who is in an irregular situation with regard to their work authorization. This means that employers face financial consequences for each foreign employee without the necessary documentation. The enhanced sanctions highlight the importance of complying with immigration regulations and carrying out appropriate checks to verify the legal status of foreign workers before employing them.


Employers should be aware of increased penalties and liability when employing foreign workers without the required work permits. The special contribution due to OFFI has increased significantly since June 20, 2012. Employers are responsible for verifying the work permit status of their employees and ensuring compliance with immigration regulations. By complying with these obligations, employers can avoid substantial financial penalties and legal consequences while still promoting lawful employment practices. 

DAMY Law Firm .