Macron announces changes in employment law for the self-employed in France

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President Emmanuel Macron announced several new measures for France’s three million self-employed and self-employed workers, including increased protection of assets and social benefits.

The president was speaking in Paris yesterday (September 17) at a meeting of the largest union of self-employed workers in France, the Union of local businesses, U2P.

He told the 600 spectators: “You represent the central theme of my work in recent years; work hard, take risks and drive.

“We have to re-engage the whole nation in this culture… it’s a cultural battle.

New rules for insurance and access to unemployment benefits

The president said that under the new rules, the personal property of self-employed workers cannot be seized if their business goes bankrupt. Only their professional heritage remains threatened.

Previously, only primary residences were protected against seizure.

Mr Macron also said self-employed workers who stop working would have access to unemployment benefits once every five years, as the currently “too restrictive” rules would be changed.

In order to assess unemployment benefits, self-employed workers will no longer have to liquidate their business and the income criteria will be adjusted.

Read more: Changes in unemployment help the self-employed in France

The current access to unemployment benefits set up by Mr. Macron’s government in 2019 has only been used by 1,000 people instead of the expected 29,000, because “the conditions are so restrictive”, he added. he declares.

Other new measures include a 30% reduction in insurance costs against accidents at work and work-related illnesses, doubling tax credits for training for entrepreneurs under 10 employees and the reduction of company transfer costs in the event of retirement.

For workers whose businesses have been forced to close due to the health crisis, the time they were unable to work will still count towards their total working time for the calculation of pensions, the president said.

Income for 2020, which could be significantly lower than in other years due to the health crisis, will also not be used as the basis for calculating workers’ maternity and sick leave coverage.

The Union welcomes new “ambitious” measures

Most of the new measures will come into force from January 22 under three texts: a new comprehensive law, a finance law and a social security law.

Mr Macron told the self-employed workers present: “You have often felt abandoned by public policies. For 27 years since the Madelin law, there have been no laws dedicated to self-employed workers. This plan is a historic step.

The Madelin law, introduced in 1994, improved access to pensions for the self-employed.

Dominique Métayer, president of the U2P welcomed the president’s speech. He said: “The new measures are ambitious and go in the right direction. They responded to our requests and give us confidence in the future.

In light of the 2022 presidential elections, commentators also noted that Mr Macron may have another motive to make things better for the self-employed, many of whom have been severely affected by the health crisis.

Political scientist Brice Teinturier, from market research firm Ipsos, told Le Monde: “Traditionally, the self-employed vote for Les Républicains (on the right) and more recently for the National Rally (on the far right). Mr Macron’s announcements are part of a plan to stifle these parties.

How to apply for allowances in France as a self-employed person?

You must ensure that you are affiliated with social security and health insurance (“CPAM”).

This information may have been transmitted to the various agencies when registering your business or entrepreneur status (see below).

You can check online (social security via the social security website here, and health insurance via Ameli.fr here).

Registration means that you will pay social contributions, collected by URSSAF, which will give you access to the usual benefits, such as basic retirement, disability, family benefits such as family allowances paid by CAF, training fund, and basic maternity allowance.

Your contributions are calculated on the basis of your taxable self-employed income. You must submit an online tax return (declaration) for your income to be taken into account.

There are no minimum contributions, so if you don’t earn anything, you pay nothing. You also do not need to have full accounts to make a declaration; just a note of income and expenses.

How to claim the status of auto-entrepreneur?

The terms “auto-entrepreneur, micro-entrepreneur, independent” all refer to the same thing; someone who works for themselves either in their own small business or as a freelance writer.

Certain activities are excluded from the statute, in particular those of agriculture or landscaping; journalism; sale of real estate; medical professions; artists creating original works; accountants, and more. A full list can be viewed here.

You can register your status on the Legal Start website here. The application requires an identity document and the right to work in France, as well as other documents such as proof of address and any related diploma.

There are limits on the amount you can earn in order to maintain your “micro-entrepreneur” status.

In 2021, these are:

  • € 72,600 per year for services, or the sale of your own created products.
  • 176,200 € per year for the purchase and resale of products.
  • € 176,200 per year for the provision of accommodation (such as vacation rentals, lodges or guest rooms).

There is also a limit before which you must pay or recover VAT (VAT) on your purchases.

These are:

  • € 34,400 per year for services, or the sale of your own created products.
  • € 85,800 per year for the purchase and resale of products.
  • € 85,800 per year for the provision of accommodation (such as vacation rentals, lodges or guest rooms).

If you go over the limit, you will need to change your status to Sole Proprietorship.

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