Everything that changes in France from September 1st

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Everything that changes in France from September 1st
Photo: AFP

As always the start of a new month heralds small but sometimes significant changes for life in France. Here's what you need to know.


Interns' pay increased (ever so slightly)

Good news for interns in France, or at least those on official internships. The hourly rate of pay increases from €3.30 an hour to €3.60 an hour, meaning a full-time intern will take home €554 a month compared to the previous “salary” of €508.

Not much, but not to be sniffed at either. But bear in mind that these pay rules only apply to internships lasting longer than two months.

Gas prices on the rise

Gas prices will rise by around 0.4 percent from September 1st compared to the prices in August.

That’s the third consecutive month that prices have risen.

In finer detail there will be a 0.1 percent rise for those households who use gas just to cook, and 0.4 percent who use it for heating.

New TV channel

For anyone who watches French TV and in particular the news then they can check out a new channel that is being launched.

France Info, just like the name of the radio station, will go live at Channel number 27 for those with TNT. It will cover the news and act as a rival to the likes of BFM TV, iTele and France 24.


Rules on medical certificates relaxed

In a long overdue loosening of the rules around medical certificates doctors can now give them out for anyone wanting to do sport in general, rather than having to specify a particular event to the doctor.

Also parents with kids in French schools may be relieved by this change. A rule that forced them to get a doctor’s note for when their child wanted to take part in a sports event has been scrapped.

And anyone with a sports license in France only has to renew their medical certificates every three years instead of every year as has been the rule up until now.

Allowance for jobseekers boosted

Anyone who is claiming RSA (Revenue de solidarité active), which is France’s basic allowance for jobseekers will be ever so slightly better off from this month.

The monthly allowance was raised by 0.1 percent back in April, but this September it will rise by a further 2 percent. The slight increase means the allowance will rise to €535.17 a month. According to figures from France’s family allowance office, known as CAF, around 1.9 million households in France benefit from RSA.

Visa system for renting an apartment

From September all those under 30 who are unable to call on a guarantor to help them secure an apartment (which is often necessary in France unless you have a CDI permanent contract and even with a permanent contract landlords may ask for a guarantor) will be able to apply for a “Visa” via the government run Visale website.

This free system essentially acts as a guarantor and a deposit that tenants can give to landlords. It doesn’t apply to students who are still attached to their parents household. Over 30s can also apply for the visa if they are in a “precarious situation”, such as starting a new job or on a temporary contract.

Free mobile users affected

Due to the ruling that Free must phase out its use of orange mobile phone masts for its own network, subscribers may notice a drop in the quality of their internet service.

Apparently when Free subscribers are out of range of one of the company’s own masts the 2G/3G internet speeds will not be as fast.

Breathaylser kits on buses

Drivers on buses and coaches in France’s overseas territories and departments will no longer be able to take to the road without blowing into a breathalyser to prove they are not over the legal alcohol limit for driving.

This law has been in place in mainland France for over a year.

Coach and bus companies are obliged to fit each vehicle with the breathalyser systems that prevent engines from starting unless they are used, and obviously only if they show the driver is below the limit.

ARPE is launched

ARPE stands for Aide a la recherché du premier emploi.

This financial help was created as part of the controversial labour reforms and comes into force this September. It’s essentially for young people from low income backgrounds just out of education or training who are looking for their first job.

They will receive financial help for four months while they make the transition from education to full time work.

Teachers allowances increased

As part of the government’s efforts to boost teachers’ pay, staff in elementary schools (écoles maternelles) will see their ISAE allowance boosted from €400 to €1,200, which is what teachers in primary schools get.


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