An appeal court in Aix-en-Provence found the budget carrier guilty of paying workers under Irish contracts to avoid making French social security payments.
The court turned down the airline’s bid to have the decision overturned, after French authorities fined it for avoiding social security payments in the country by putting workers on contracts in Ireland.
The case involves 127 staff at Marseilles airport between 2007 and 2010.
Ryanair must now pay €8.1 million in damages to trade unions and the social security system in France and a €200,000 fine as a result of the ruling.
The airline had argued that as an Irish company operating aircraft based in Ireland it was entitled to employ staff on Irish contracts. It added that salaried staff had already made social security payments and paid taxes in Ireland.
Originally the airline was ordered to pay €8.8 million, including €4.5 million of backdated social charges, €3 million in pension contributions and €450,000 in unemployment charges.
Ryanair said a year ago that it would appeal against the decision, arguing that its staff had already paid social taxes and pension contributions in Ireland.
The airline argued that it should not have to pay such charges twice and lodged an appeal in June 2014. The French appeal court upheld the original decision, but reduced the amount of damages by €700,000.
Ryanair, which yesterday opened its third Scottish base in Glasgow, has yet to comment on the case.
Sourced from Travel Weekly