Umbrella employment in the construction industry

Umbrella employment can be used in many sectors, including the Building and Public Works (BTP) in France.

In the BTP sector, umbrella employment is an option for professionals such as engineers, architects, project managers, specialized technicians, or energy performance consultants, who wish to work independently while enjoying the benefits associated with employee status. Here are some advantages of umbrella employment in this sector:

  • Social security and social protection: As a contracted employee, the independent worker benefits from the social protection of an employee, including unemployment insurance, supplementary pension, provident insurance, paid leave, etc.
  • Simplified administrative management: The umbrella company handles all administrative formalities, such as invoicing, social contributions, and tax declarations, allowing the professional to focus on their activity.
  • Access to various missions: Contracted independent workers can access an expanded network of clients and missions, allowing them to diversify their skills and broaden their project portfolio.
  • Flexibility: Umbrella employment offers great flexibility in terms of working hours, choice of missions, and rate negotiation, allowing the professional to adapt their activity according to their needs and desires.
  • Professional training: Contracted workers have the opportunity to benefit from ongoing professional training and access to specific training for their profession, allowing them to develop their skills and improve their employability.

It should be noted that umbrella employment in the BTP sector in France is subject to certain conditions and regulations. For example, umbrella companies must be registered with the DIRECCTE (Regional Directorate for Companies, Competition, Consumption, Labor, and Employment) and comply with a number of rules, such as the obligation of financial guarantee or subscription to professional liability insurance.

Deux consultants en train de travailler

Independent BTP work: why is support important?

Régie Portage is very attentive to the support of independent workers in the BTP sector:

At Régie Portage, our leitmotif is that a BTP consultant finds a mission more easily thanks to personalized support. And not just any mission: a mission that meets their expectations, close to home, and in line with their skills.

With our advisors, the independent worker in Civil Engineering and Building can more easily face the obstacles that may arise during a mission (overload, relational difficulty, etc.)

If possible, we try to increase the chances of our contracted workers to obtain a loan or apply for a rental through salary smoothing or the provision of a down payment.

Finally, we support our contracted workers to benefit from the range of advantages offered: exemption from certain professional expenses; maintenance of salary during RTT/paid leave; to benefit from TR (restaurant vouchers), PEE (company savings plan), PERCO (collective retirement savings plan), CESU (universal service employment vouchers), and Kadeos (gift vouchers).

This personalized support ensures that BTP consultants can find missions that are well-suited to their skills and expectations while navigating any challenges that may arise during their work. Furthermore, the support provided by Régie Portage helps independent workers in the BTP sector access various benefits and financial opportunities that can enhance their overall work experience and quality of life.

What salary can you expect in a BTP umbrella employment ?

A contracted worker earns about 50% of the pre-tax invoice. To compare with the salary of an employee in a BTP consulting company, the salary thus obtained is not entirely comparable. Indeed, it is also necessary to deduct: the maintenance of salary during holidays or RTT days; the amounts dedicated to a potential conventional termination (also called financial reserve in §21 of the collective agreement for umbrella employment).

To better compare with the “consulting” sector, it is better to take 40%. If you are a temporary worker and do not know the invoiced amount, you should multiply your gross salary by 2.30 to 2.50, adding the meal vouchers and public transport subscription.

Salary example: Two years ago, Paul was a temporary worker earning about €2,200 net. Through perseverance, he finally managed to get a training as a works pilot. After 2 years of experience as a project manager, he received so many notifications on Linkedin that he finally decided to offer his services as an independent contractor in salary portage. Since then, he has worked for several consulting firms simultaneously, including his former employer.

He invoices an average of €450 per day in salary portage. Assuming an average of 19 working days, he invoices €8,550 pre-tax per month. Without benefits or expenses, he can earn up to €4,360 net (after deducting €800 in expenses and €3,340 in social contributions), or about 51% of the pre-tax amount.

If he buys a PC for €1,800 including tax (which is reimbursed as a professional expense), or €1,500 pre-tax, the remaining balance is €13,700, for a net salary of €7,000. In the end, Daniel earned €7,000+€1,800 = €8,800, or 58% of his pre-tax billing.

Are you eligible for BTP umbrella employment?

To be eligible, you must have at least a Bac+2 and 3 years of experience. Created by a former contracted worker in civil engineering at Ingérop, Régie Portage is the essential partner for civil engineering consultants who adopt BTP umbrella employment.

Whether for civil engineering works (bridges, tunnels), roads, or urban development, salary portage is possible for studies and monitoring of most civil engineering works. The entire building and construction sector (housing, facilities) is possible in umbrella employment.

It is not only about studies since all expertise can also be carried out in salary portage: acoustics, thermal, environmental, etc.

Decennial liability insurance in BTP salary portage

Salary portage offers you the possibility to offer your services in a management contract (only temporary work and portage can do this). Decennial and professional liability insurance is not always required. For more information, we invite you to contact us again.

Decennial insurance in umbrella employment

Whether you are a civil engineer starting a business or an independent BTP designer in a company, you must subscribe to RCDC insurance (Civil Liability Decennial Guarantee). Thus, for a cost of about 10% (+/- 5% depending on experience or specialty) of your turnover, you can subscribe to this legal decennial obligation. You are particularly concerned if you are the agent or co-holder of the construction / project management contract (Articles 1792 and following of the Civil Code). We will see that subcontractors are also concerned.

However, there is an exception: umbrella employment, temporary work, or consulting firms that do not have an obligation to deliver results.

The obligation of decennial insurance in umbrella employment


Officially, subcontractors do not have an obligation to have RCDC decennial insurance.

However, the insurance of the contract holders may turn against the result obligation of the subcontractor. Consequently, the subcontractor must also be covered by good RCDC decennial insurance to survive in case of significant damage.
Dilution of deductibles in decennial insurance

In the event of a disaster, responsibilities are diluted at several levels.

Example: A 1M€ disaster is first diluted on the decennial insurance of 5 contracting companies at 200,000€ each. This first burst is again diluted over 4 companies (including 3 subcontractors) at 50,000€. After applying deductibles of 30,000€ each, the insurances will have paid only 20,000€ per company.

When starting a business

To secure your first contract, you will need to have RCDC decennial insurance. It will cost you about 10% of your turnover with a minimum contribution of around 2,500€.

The exorbitant cost of this insurance and the simplicity of Umbrella Employment call into question the very interest of starting a business when you are a civil engineer or an independent or freelance designer.

Indeed, since the cost of umbrella employment is entirely offset by the expense of the decennial insurance, starting a business is more economical in umbrella employment because the employment costs include: insurance but also, accounting, taxes such as CVAE or CFE, contracts, civil liability, etc.

Decennial insurance is not always required

Umbrella employment in BTP

Recently, umbrella employment has entered the offices of BTP study and design firms. Régie Portage is a company specialized in this field and will meet all your expectations. Depending on your activity and customer demand, your umbrella employment company will offer you a contract in Régie or on a Flat-rate basis. Only the Régie mode allows you to avoid the use of RCDC insurance.

Additional advantage: Umbrella employment simplifies administration and provides employee status.

Temporary work and consulting firms

These companies do not offer a subcontract but a service rental contract. They do not have an obligation to deliver results, and recourse to RCDC decennial insurance is not possible.

Some types of structures

Article L243-1-1 of the insurance code excludes a certain number of structures from the decennial guarantee, including:

Maritime, lake, river works, road infrastructure works, port, airport, heliport, railway works, urban residue treatment works, industrial waste, and effluent works, as well as the equipment elements of one or the other of these works.

Roads, pedestrian structures, parking lots, various networks, pipelines, lines or cables and their supports, transport works, energy production, storage and distribution works, bulk solid, fluid and liquid storage and treatment works, telecommunications works, uncovered sports facilities.

Reviews on Régie Portage