France - Ireland

Ryanair launches appeal over Irish contracts in France

A Ryanair plane at Marignane airport near Marseille.
A Ryanair plane at Marignane airport near Marseille. Reuters/Jean-Paul Pelissier

Ryanair, the Irish low cost airline, launched an appeal on Monday against a court ruling ordering it to pay nearly nine million euros for breaching French employment laws.


No official from the company attended the hearing in the southern city of Aix-en-Provence, near Marignane airport, where the company operated.

A court in October ordered that the company pay damages and interest and also fined the company 200,000 euros after finding that Ryanair illegally gave locally-based staff Irish contracts in order to save money on salary and other taxes.

The court also found that Ryanair had prevented the functioning of workplace councils and hindered access to unions.

Social payroll charges in France are usually between 40-45 percent, compared to only 10.75 percent in Ireland.

The court said the airline created a "situation of unfair competition".

If upheld on appeal, the damages will have to be paid to France's social security system, the state pension fund and unions representing airline workers, all of which were plaintiffs in the action against Ryanair.

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