France unveils plan to make life easier for firms

Fifty recommendations on how to make life easier for companies in France - and thus spur business growth - are due out on Monday. Here is a sneak preview of some of the key proposals the government hopes will breathe some life into the stagnant economy.

France unveils plan to make life easier for firms
France plans to streamline business rules: Photo: Shutterstock

Anyone who has tried to set up or run a company in France will know very well the tangled mound of rules and regulations that French businesses are expected to follow.

However, the government is set to release a raft of 50 measures that focus on taxes and the labour code which are intended to encourage growth by removing obstacles for companies. It has been piloted by Socialist Assembly member Thierry Mandon and the Woodeum CEO Guillaume Poitrinal, who first pitched the idea to President François Hollande last autumn.

According to Europe 1 radio, the proposed measures would first and foremost make it easier to start a business. Under the measures entrepreneurs would be able to wrap up their paperwork in a one-stop-shop fashion, unlike the at times byzantine way the process is structured today.

Hiring for companies with fewer than 20 workers would also be made easier. And a new rule for companies could only be adopted if an existing one had been cut from the books.

Another major proposal has attacked France’s infamous 4,000-page labour code. A typical example of the code’s complexity is its six different definitions of the word “day”. There are days worked, holidays, calendar days, working days, unemployed days and so on.

The  report says employers and labour unions should craft a single definition of day that works for everyone and every day.

Finally, the report proposes making workers’ payslips easier for them to read. Though the amount of taxes workers pay would not change, the reform would consolidate the number of bodies who appear on employees’ ‘fiche de paie’ (payslip).

Check in later today for more details on the proposal once it has been officially released.

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