Parliament adopts a single statute for self-employed workers

The bill aims to provide a simpler and more protective framework for the more than three million self-employed workers.

Dissociation of personal and professional assets, relaxation of the unemployment insurance scheme… Parliament definitively adopted on Tuesday a bill aimed at “better protection” the approximately three million self-employed and “to make their life easier”.

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The compromise text, which was reached by deputies and senators in a joint joint committee, was adopted during the day by the Senate unanimously of the votes cast, then, in the evening, by the National Assembly also unanimously of the votes. expressed. In both chambers the left abstained, judging the text “insufficient”.

The bill creates a unique status for the self-employed – craftsmen, traders, liberal professionals… – which makes a distinction between their professional assets and their personal assets. Personal property will now by default be unseizable in the event of bankruptcy, whereas today only the principal residence is protected. This measure, which derogates from the legal principle of the uniqueness of heritage, was a long-standing request from these workers, whose activity by nature faces significant risks, brutally brought to light by the Covid-19 health crisis. . It will enter into force three months after the promulgation of the law.

The attitude of banks, “point of vigilance”

The rapporteur at the Palais-Bourbon, Marie-Christine Verdier-Jouclas (LREM), was pleased to see the outcome “a text awaited by three million entrepreneurs”. “However, miracles should not be expected, because the most important creditors, in particular the banks, will continue to require special securities on certain assets of the entrepreneur, including his personal assets”, however, warned the rapporteur for the text in the Senate Christophe-André Frassa (LR). “We will expect banking establishments to take full responsibility in the implementation of this reform, we will be very vigilant (…)”, promised the Minister of Small and Medium Enterprises Jean-Baptiste Lemoyne. The attitude of the banks is also “a point of vigilance” pointed out by the secretary general of the Union of Independents (SDI), Marc Sanchez, who welcomed in the bill “a decisive leap to improve the status of individual entrepreneurs as well as their social and fiscal situations”.

Better compensated unemployment

The bill constitutes “angular stone” of the plan for self-employed workers announced by President Emmanuel Macron on September 16, according to the minister. It is articulated with a budgetary component voted at the end of the year, to facilitate the sale of companies, too few in France when an entrepreneur retires, thanks to exemptions from taxation of capital gains .

Another flagship measure of the text: the conditions of access to the allowance for self-employed workers (ATI), considered too restrictive, are extended to any total and definitive cessation of activity which is not economically viable. “To estimate if the activity is not viable, we will see if there is a drop in income of at least 30%”, said Jean-Baptiste Lemoyne. Unlike employees, the self-employed cannot indeed receive unemployment. Since 2019, they can benefit from the ATI, a lump sum of 800 euros per month for a maximum period of six months, but only in the event of liquidation or recovery.

The reform also plans to double the tax credit for the training of managers of companies with less than ten employees and aims to reduce by 30% the price of optional AT/MP insurance (accidents at work/occupational diseases) .

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Expectations of freelancers

According to a study which has just been published by the Association for the right to economic initiative (Adie), carried out in the autumn by OpinionWay among 1,149 independent entrepreneurs, 93% of them consider “urgent” to align their social rights with those of employees. About 59% want unemployment rights as a priority and 49% want above all better coverage of occupational risks.

At the end of January, the government announced additional financial aid for certain categories of self-employed workers affected by the health crisis. The bill was initially brought by Alain Griset. Alain Griset, who before becoming a minister had exercised the profession of taxi driver for more than 30 years, will answer on May 25 before the Lille Criminal Court of“breach of trust” at the expense of the National Confederation of Trades and Services (Cnams) of the North.

SEE ALSO – Trial of Alain Griset: sentenced to six months suspended prison sentence, his lawyer appeals


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