The bill just adopted by Parliament wants to “better protect” the three million self-employed workers concerned and “make their life easier”.
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The text adopted Tuesday, February 8 by Parliament creates a unique status for craftsmen, traders and other liberal professionals who, until now, lacked protection in the event of a hard blow. The main point of this bill is to clearly distinguish the professional assets from the personal assets of these self-employed persons. In the event of bankruptcy, for example, personal property (furniture, household appliances or cars) can no longer be seized.
Many of us are unaware of this principle of French law: a craftsman or any self-employed worker with a special status can have his property seized in the event of a problem, with the exception of his main residence. This fragility has been highlighted by the health crisis of the past two years.
That said, some parliamentarians and professionals call for continued vigilance. In the National Assembly and the Senate, the left-wing opposition abstained, judging the text insufficient. On the right, the LR rapporteur in the Senate, Christophe-André Frassa, warned against the most important creditors, in particular the banks, who will continue to require special guarantees on certain goods from entrepreneurs. The Minister of SMEs, Jean-Baptiste Lemoyne, assures that the government will remain vigilant.
The text also includes a section intended to facilitate the transmission of businesses during the retirement of the bosses of micro-companies, which are still too few in France. Another measure provides for the extension of the conditions of access of the self-employed to unemployment benefits. Today, unlike employees, independent contractors cannot receive unemployment. Finally, other measures reinforce the questions of training and insurance on accidents at work. It remains to officially promulgate the law for publication – a concrete application – within the following three months.