What is changing in France in November 2020?

Gas prices and cigarettes get more expensive, bank fees are capped, and winter rights for renters begin

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A return to confinement is not the only thing that is new this month. We explain what is changing in France in November 2020.

Regulated gas prices going up

Prices from gas supplier Engie go up by 1.6% on November 1.

In a statement, the company said: “This rise is 0.4% for people who use gas for cooking, 0.9% for people who have double usage for cooking and hot water, and 1.7% for homes heated by gas.”

Gas prices are going up due to rises on the international market, and would have risen to 5.7% this month if laws were not in place to prevent sudden, steep increases for customers.

Packets of cigarettes going up by around 50 cents

Packs of 20 cigarettes will also see a price rise of around 50 cents this month in the hope that increasing the price will help persuade smokers to quit.

Health authorities’ overall goal is to raise prices until each pack costs at least €10 by the end of 2020. A price breakdown for each brand can be found here.

La trêve hivernal begins

Winter laws ensuring renters' rights during cold weather begin on November 1 in France each year.

Tenants cannot be evicted until March 31, 2021, with three exceptions:

  • If the home is subject to an arrêté de périlmeaning it is dangerous to live in
  • If the eviction is the result of a rehoming organised to better correspond to a renting family’s needs
  • If the home is occupied by squatters

In addition, during the winter months, gas and electricity suppliers cannot cut services.

Evictions agreed by a judge during this period will currently be effective from April 1, 2021. However, last year this date was pushed back until July 10 due to the Covid-19 health crisis.

Read more: French holiday-home squatters summoned to trial

Partial unemployment benefits extended

Partial unemployment benefits (chômage partiel) introduced during the Covid-19 crisis were scheduled to end in France on November 1, but have been extended until January 1, 2021, as the country has re-entered confinement.

People eligible for chômage partiel during the second confinement in France will receive up to 84% of their salary from the state, with the rest contributed by their employer.

Read more: What lockdown help is there for businesses in France?

Ceilings on bank fees for vulnerable customers

Vulnerable clients will have bank fees capped at €25 for three months, or €20 if they are using a specialist “vulnerable client” offer from their bank.

Customers will be considered vulnerable in the following circumstances, according to government site service-publique.fr:

  • If they accumulate five irregularities or payment incidents in one month, not as a consequence of previous irregularities or repeated payment incidents over three months
  • If their over-indebtedness file is being processed and not only if they are already classed as over-indebted
  • If they have been signed up for three consecutive months for the centralised system of cheque and payment incidents with the Banque de France

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New laws and changes in France: November 2020