What changes in France in October 2019

One of the new laws coming into force this month states that new buildings of four or more storeys must have a lift

Lower gas prices, simplified retirement saving plans, and new rules on lifts in buildings are among some of the changes starting this month in France.

Gas prices

Gas prices, as set by Engie, are to drop by 2.4% overall today (October 1). Specifically, the drop is 0.6% for households who use gas for cooking, 2.5% for those who use it for heating, and 1.4% for those who use it for cooking and heating, including hot water.

The new prices align with a decree to lower rates, which was set by the government at the end of June.

Retirement savings

October marks the launch of new products by insurance companies, aimed at making retirement saving simpler.

As part of the government’s business growth plan, la Loi Pacte, companies will now be limited to three products, in a bid to replace the wide array of offers - such as Perco, Madelin, Article 83, Perp; along with their complicated and inconsistent rules - that were previously available.

Lifts in new buildings

New buildings must now feature a lift (elevator) by law, if they are three or more storeys high. Previously, the rule applied to buildings of four storeys or more.

The new rule is aimed at improving access for disabled people, or those with reduced mobility.

 

Information on bills

All bills issued from October 1 will now be required to list the billing address of the company, if it is different from its head office address, as well as an order number.

Previously, bills only had to show the head office address of the seller, and the head office or main address of the buyer.

These changes are aimed at speeding up the payment of bills, by making it obvious if there is a difference between the head office address and its billing address.

Companies that fail to make this clear can now incur fines of €75,000 - €375,000.

Employer contributions

This month will see further reductions on employer contributions to unemployment insurance, on low wages, worked out on a sliding scale.

The loss of revenue - estimated to be €3.7 billion per year - will be compensated for by Acoss, the “social security bank”.

Performance artists

Live performance artists - such as dancers, theatre actors or live musicians - must now declare themselves on the ministry of culture website.

This declaration will be valid for five years, and will replace the old three-year license that was issued by local authorities.

Anyone performing without this declaration may be fined from €1,500 - €75,000, and venues run the risk of being closed for at least one year.

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