Twenty measures are being promised in 2022 that the government claims will improve the status of the 2.9 million independent workers in France.
Among the raft of proposed legislation is new legal status for all independent workers to protect personal assets if a business fails. Only professional assets will remain at risk. Up to now, only main homes have been protected.
It will replace two existing regimes – entrepreneur individuel, chosen by 75% of businesses, and entrepreneur individuel à responsabilité limitée (EIRL) – and apply to businesses set up after the law comes into force, sometime in 2022.
Conditions for unemployment benefit could also be relaxed.
Allocation des travailleurs indépendants (ATI) was introduced for independent workers in 2019, providing €800 a month for six months.
Take-up to date has been very low as, to qualify, earnings had to be over €10,000 a year and the business declared bankrupt, an expensive procedure.
The government also plans to lower contributions by 30% to entice more people to take out assurance maladie’s optional insurance to protect against losses due to an accident or illness caused by work.
In addition, unmarried as well as married people will be protected by conjoint collaborateur status when they work for their partner’s company, and it will become easier to pass on a business to someone else.
Artisans and anyone in sales will be able to pay social charges in relation to current earnings, rather than those of the previous year, to help anyone earning less after a previous good year from having to pay disproportionately high charges.
The pandemic has informed new measures. Average past earnings, instead of unusually low income in 2020, will be used to calculate sick, maternity or paternity pay, and Covid’s impact will also be calculated into future retirement rights.
Finally, micro-entrepreneurs will be able to declare earnings as soon as they start (and so access their full social rights), instead of waiting 90 days.
Read more: A guide to micro-entrepreneurs in France
A new website collating all information relating to independent workers is promised by the beginning of 2022 to make it easier to find answers to questions.