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Everything that's changing about life in France in November 2019

The Local France
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Everything that's changing about life in France in November 2019
Photos: Deposit Photos/AFP

With big changes to the benefits system and several major price hikes, plus two public holidays, there is a lot going on in France in November. Here's what you need to know.


There are two public holidays

November is a good month for days off this year, with two bank holidays which fall on a Friday and a Monday to create long weekends.

Friday, November 1st is Toussaint (All Saints Day) and Monday, November 11th is Armistice Day. This is usually commemorated with military parades including one in Paris where a wreath is laid at the tomb of the unknown soldier at the Arc de Triomphe.

It's Thanksgiving

The fourth Thursday of the month is Thanksgiving, and although not a big deal for France there are some places in Paris that do Thanksgiving events for Americans who live here.

READ ALSO: Readers' tips - How to create an authentic Thanksgiving in France

You need to work more before claiming unemployment benefits

From November 1st 2019, you must have worked 130 days (910 hours or 6 months) over the last 24 months to be entitled to unemployment compensation.

Previously, it was necessary to have worked 88 days (roughly four calendar months) over the last 28 months to qualify.

You'll also need to work for longer before claiming benefits again.

Find out more about the changes to unemployment in France here.

Supplementary pensions are changing 

The amount of supplementary Agirc-Arrco pensions will be increased by 1 percent from November 1 2019.

Workers in France are obliged by law to pay into supplementary pensions that are administered by industry-specific funds, AGIRC (for executives) and ARRCO (for non-executives) being the most common.  Employer/employee contributions are paid on a pay-as-you-go basis.

More in benefits for adults with disabilities

The maximum amount in benefits granted to adults with disabilities (AAH) is set at €900 per month from November 2019.

The amount awarded varies according to the severity of the disability, where the person lives, their age and their resources. 

Complementary healthcare to reach more people

From November 2019, dental, optometry, hearing aids, medical devices and other complementary healthcare services will now also be 100 percent covered for beneficiaries of ACS, France’s payment assistance for complementary healthcare.

These benefits were previously only available to those with Supplementary Universal Health Insurance Coverage ("CMU-C"), meaning that ACS beneficiaries were often saddled with high costs for these extras and had to pay surcharges and costs in advance.

CMU-C provides people whose income is below a given ceiling (and who have been residing in France on a stable and ongoing basis for more than 3 months) with free 100 percent coverage for their medical expenses.

Find out more here

Eviction truce during the winter months 

A tenant in France cannot be evicted during the winter months, from November 1st to March 31st, even if they are in arrears with the rent or bills.

The law now states there are no exceptions, whereas previously there were some cases in which squatters or when there were health risk attached to the buildings could be evicted.

Gas prices going up 

France’s regulated gas tariffs Engie gas sales will be put up by 3 percent on average from November 1st.

According to France’s Regulatory Energy Commission (CRE), the basic fare (cooking) will go up by 0.8 percent, rate B0 (cooking and water boiler) by 1.8 percent and rate B1 (heating) by 3.2 percent. 

Smokers to pay more

From November 1st, a pack of cigarettes will cost up to €10.50 - 50 euro cents more on average.

More than 82 percent of the cost of cigarettes comes from taxes, money which is used to finance health insurance. It’s the ninth cigarette price hike in the last five years as the French government attempts to wean smokers off the habit.

Quintessential French brand Gitanes will be the most expensive at €10.50 but the average price for a pack of 20 will now be €9.05

Cigarette prices in France in 2017. Photo: AFP

Paris Metro prices to rise - but only for people with paper tickets

Fares on the Paris Metro are to rise from Friday - but only for people who still use the paper tickets.

In an effort to persuade more people to use the paperless Metro options - the Navigo passes or the ViaNavigo app which turns your smartphone into a ticket - transport bosses are increasing the prices of the books of 10 paper tickets.

From Friday, November 1st the price of a carnet of 10 paper tickets will rise from €14.90 to €16.90 - a rise of 13 percent.

Individual paper tickets will still be sold at €1.90. Find out more here

Flu jab reminder

The French government is encouraging its citizens to get vaccinated against flu before the virus takes hold during the winter months. Last year the flu virus caused 9,500 deaths in France.

France launched its annual flu vaccine campaign on Tuesday to encourage adults, particularly the more vulnerable, to get the jab before the virus becomes problematic during the winter months. Many pharmacists can now offer the jab. Find out more here

School lunches are going (partially) veggie

Schools in France will have to offer at least one vegetarian menu a week to their pupils, according to a new measure introduced by France’s Ministry of Agriculture and Food.

The Egalim law comes into force on November 1st and will mean school canteens have to dish up at least one lunch a week without meat or fish, shellfish and seafood. They may however include eggs or dairy products.

Find out more here





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Anonymous 2019/11/01 09:15
Thanks for spotting, Scott, we'll change this!
Anonymous 2019/10/31 17:39
Thanksgiving is always the FOURTH Thursday of November in the United States.

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