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Latest update : 2009-08-20

British low-cost airline EasyJet has been ordered to stand trial in France, where it is accused of failing to declare its employees based at Orly airport between June 2003 and December 2006. It had been under investigation since 2006.

AFP - Low-cost airline easyJet is to be prosecuted on charges of violating French labour law by failing to declare staff employed at Paris airports under British contracts, court officials said Wednesday.

The airline has been under investigation since 2006 over the legal status of some 170 workers then based at Orly airport south of Paris and was ordered on August 5 to stand trial, said the state prosecutor's in Creteil near Paris.

It is accused of failing to declare workers in Orly between June 2003 and December 2006. If found guilty it could face a bill for several million euros in unpaid French social security and health insurance contributions.

No date has been set for the hearing at which the carrier will answer charges of concealing employment, hampering staff representation and failing to register business activities in France, an official said.

Under a government decree adopted in November 2006, low-cost airlines with bases in France are obliged to comply with French labour laws.

France's highest court in 2007 rejected appeals by both easyJet and Ryanair, which argued that their cabin staff worked for company headquarters outside France and were not subject to French law.

Orly, according to easyJet, was merely a "rest area" for its workers, with the planes their actual workplaces.

Date created : 2009-08-19