What changes in France from April 2018

What changes in France from April 2018
Photo: AFP
As ever, the beginning of the month signals a new raft of small but perhaps important changes in France. Here's what's happening in April.
Energy cheques 
Energy cheques — the new system designed to help those with modest incomes pay their energy bills — may have been officially launched at the beginning of the year but most of the four million households set to receive them will only start to do so from the beginning of April.
These cheques, which have replaced the “social tariff” scheme, will be sent by post automatically.
New health advice for parents 
The government's new “health book” (or “carnet de santé” in French) which contains the latest medical advice for children is set to appear at the beginning of April. 
The book, which is free and traditionally handed over by the maternity ward or a doctor, will replace the edition which has been distributed since 2006 with the updated version designed to “take into account the scientific advances and the expectations of health professionals and families”.
No screens for under-threes: France to give new baby advice to parents
Electronic customer service 
From April 1st, you'll probably start to notice France has taken a step into the future. 
When dealing with customer service staff at banks and insurance firms, it's likely you'll be asked for an electronic signature instead of the traditional hand written one. 
This is all part of an initiative to increase the use of electronic forms and contracts in the financial sector. 
Family benefits
There's some good news for families in France receiving family benefits. 
From April 1st many of the allowances will increase…even if only by a tiny amount. 
And families with at least two children will see their means-tested family allowances rise by 1 percent to align with the level of inflation calculated for 2017. 
That means that for a family with two children with resources of less than or equal to €67,542, the amount of family allowances will go from €129.86 to €131.15 per month.
And according to Les Echos, several other social benefits could also be impacted by this rise in inflation.
That means that the back-to-school allowance and the early childhood benefits (PAJE) could also increase by 1 percent.