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French workers to get €38 restaurant vouchers

Employees in French companies will see an increase of restaurant vouchers to a ceiling of €38 a day, in a bid to support the French hospitality sector.

French workers to get €38 restaurant vouchers
Photo: AFP

If you are an employee of a big company in France, chances are you will have a subsidised canteen for lunches, but many employees whose workplace does not have a canteen get restaurant vouchers instead to buy their lunches.

There are various exemptions to this scheme, but in total around four million employees in France benefit from restaurant vouchers, a scheme that is worth around €6 billion a year.

Now the Prime Minister has announced an increase in the maximum ceiling for vouchers – up from €19 a day to €38 a day – as well as an exemption that they can be used during weekends and public holidays as well as only on weekdays for the rest of 2020.

The increase is intended to help out France's hospitality sector, still reeling from almost three months of closure during the lockdown.

Most restaurants in France reopened from June 2nd, but in the greater Paris region – which is an orange zone of elevated coronavirus levels – only restaurants and cafés with outdoor terraces are allowed to reopen.

Some workers can use their vouchers in food shops but in this case the ceiling will stay at €19, in an attempt to boost the restaurant sector. 

Announcing the change, Prime Minister Edouard Philippe said: “This may seem trivial, incidental, but it is not at all.

“It will allow the recovery to be accompanied by much better conditions for restaurateurs and it will allow all the restaurant vouchers that were not used during the lockdown to be re-injected into the restaurant and café economy. This is obviously essential.”

Restaurant vouchers are just one of the perks that French employees can enjoy, along with subsidised travel, paid healthcare, generous holidays and extra time off for working more than 35 hours a week – although not everyone is entitled to this.

READ ALSO The benefits and perks of working in France

Member comments

  1. A bit mis-leading here no? The maxspend allowed has increased but people don’t get EUR38 a day in vouchers. More like EUR8. So basically a weeks worth of vouchers @EUR8 each can now be used for a one off transaction.

  2. But for past few months restaurants have been closed and people working at home. Yet employees still get ‘tickets restaurants’ over this time. So everyone now has a surplus, that surplus can now be used due to increased daily limits.

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ANIMAL WELFARE

How to adopt a pet from a French animal shelter

Around 300,000 pets are abandoned every year in France, many of them during the summer months. So if you're looking for a pet there are many lovely cats and dogs in shelters looking for a good home - here's how to go about it.

How to adopt a pet from a French animal shelter

Where to look

French animal welfare charity the Société Protectrice des Animaux (SPA) is an excellent place to start – it currently lists nearly 4,500 animals available for adoption. 

But there are lots of other smaller, local organisations – it may be worthwhile dropping in to see a local vet as they will generally know of local groups seeking homes for abandoned pets.

There will be paperwork

First-time buyers of cats or dogs have to sign a ‘certificate of commitment and understanding’ before they will be allowed to buy an animal, and the same applies to those looking to adopt. 

After the signed document is delivered to the authorities, future owners have seven days to change their mind – the idea is to prevent people from ‘impulsively’ buying or adopting pets only to abandon them later. 

The SPA, certainly, demands that would-be adopters are of legal age and are willing to take part in a “responsible adoption process”.

These things take time – as you should expect for a commitment that can last more than a decade. As the SPA website says, it seeks to ensure “that each decision is carefully considered and that the adopted animal matches its new family and way of life”.

The process may include home visits, interviews and discussions to help adopters find the animal to which they are best suited – older people may not cope well with an energetic puppy, for example.

READ ALSO What you need to know about owning a dog in France

Shelter animals

Some welfare organisations ensure their animals spend some time with ‘foster families’ until they are adopted. This means that the organisation has a pretty good idea how that animal is likely to behave when it gets to its new adopted home.

It is more difficult to judge an animal’s character if it has been kept in a pen in a shelter.

It will cost money

A financial contribution will most likely be requested by the organisation from which you are adopting. The sum will depend on the age and type of animal being adopted. 

The SPA, for example, asks for a donation to cover vets’ fees of between €250 and €300 for a dog, depending on its age, and €150 for a cat or a kitten.

Another well-known animal welfare organisation in France, Les Amis des Animaux, has a slightly different scale of fees covering the cost of chipping, vaccinations – including rabies/passport in mature animals, sterilisation, worming, et cetera. 

READ ALSO What you need to know about microchipping your pet in France

What else you need to know

Under French law, pet dogs – and cats and ferrets – over a certain age must be identified and registered on a national database. 

The animal must be identifiable by a tattoo or microchip – the latter is the most common method these days – that is registered on the Identification des carnivores domestiques (I-CAD) database

The procedure to insert the microchip, or ink the tattoo, must be carried out by an approved professional. The procedure should be done by a vet and costs between €40 and €70, the shelter will tell you whether your new pet already has a microchip or not.

You might not believe it if you have walked along certain streets in Paris, but you can be fined if you fail to pick up after your pet. 

The standard fine is €68, but the mayors of some towns have imposed stricter rules in the street, in parks, gardens and other public spaces. 

The French government’s Service Public website lists other rules regarding the health and wellbeing of pets. Read it here.

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