What is the duty of care ?

duty of care

Duty of care is essential in combatting undeclared work.

For a company (the contractor), subcontracting is an operation which consists of assigning to another company (the subcontractor), the task of executing, according to pre-established specifications, production or service activities of which the former maintains the final economic responsibility.

In order to combat undeclared work, every contractor has to collect a number of documents from their subcontractor.

When a contract covers an operation of a total value of at least €5,000, even if it is subject to several payments or invoices, it is a requirement to submit those documents. These verifications are necessary when concluding the contract, and then every 6 months until the contract has been executed.


The relevant documents are:

This is the ‘identity card’ of your company, which attests of its current activity. To get it, you can apply to Infogreffe, the Chamber of Trades and Crafts on the INSEE website.

  • Social certificate of due diligence issued by URSSAF, SSI or MSA

This document certifies that the company is in compliance with social obligations. This document is valid for 6 months from the date of the last payment for social security contributions.

  • List of foreign employees

This attestation specifies whether the company can enroll foreign employees outside the European Economic Area onto its payroll. The mandatory particulars to include are as follows: name and surname of the employee, date of hire, nationality, nature of the residence permit (residency card, leave to remain, etc…), and number of the residency permit.

A company which does not employ any foreign employee is also subject to presenting an attestation stating “does not employ any foreign employee”.

What are the sanctions if a company does not comply with its duty of care ?

  • Up to 3 years in prison
  • A fine of 45,000€ (natural person) – 225,000€ (legal person)
  • Regularisation of social security contributions
  • Exclusion of any Public Contract
  • Prohibition of working for 5 years
  • Administrative closure for 3 months

/!\ Contractors and suppliers are co-responsible for undeclared work; therefore, both can be punished in case of non-compliance.