On August 6th 2015, the Law on Growth and Economic Activity (so-called “Macron Law”) was finally enacted and came into force the day after, after its publication in the French Journal Officiel.

As already pointed out in our article “How will the Macron bill boost foreign investments in France”, French Government aims at making the country more competitive and business-friendly. As such, a wide range of matters in corporate and tax law as well as employment law are covered.

Those key measures can be summarised as follows:

  • An incentive to employee savings and employee shareholding through the reduction of vesting period and retention period of free shares and the easing of issuance conditions for company stock warrants (Bons de souscription de parts de créateurs d’entreprise).
  • A new form of company, called Free Partnership Company (Société de Libre Partenariat), is created for large investors to facilitate foreign participation in private equity aiming at competing in Europe with the special limited partnership (Société en Commandite Spéciale), Luxembourg vehicle created in 2013.
  • Changes to the obligation to inform employees of certain companies with less than 250 employees prior to a sale of the business or a controlling stake in the event of a sale introduced by n°2015-856 dated 31 July 2014 ESS Law:
    • the sanction of nullity of the transfer been replaced by a fine of 2% of the purchase price;
    • the regime is only applicable to sales (instead of transfers);
    • the law clarifies the methods of providing the information to the employees;
    • the regime is not applicable if, in the 12 months prior to the sale, the employees have already been informed as part of the employer’s general 3 yearly information obligation.
  • Changes in formalities applicable to business sale (cession de fonds de commerce): creditors no longer have the right to request an auction of the purchase price. However creditors retain their opposition rights.
  • Supplementary Company Pension Regime (retraites chapeaux):
    • Supplementary company pension schemes are now subject to:
      • the control procedure for related party agreements;
      • performance conditions.
  • Prohibition on annual increases exceeding 3% of the remuneration serving as base for the calculation of the pension.
  • Prohibition on taking into account an officer’s length of service from a previous post for the supplementary pension.

 

  • Labour legislation on Sunday and night: the law leaves the choice to the French Government for fixing the number of working Sundays, which could not exceed twelve per year. Furthermore, International tourist areas have been created in several towns in which shops may be opened every day until midnight and every Sunday, subject to salary compensation.

Considering the significant changes of the French economy introduced by this law, the French Government is already discussing a Macron Law II to create new business opportunities.

Benoît LAFOURCADE

Co-Founder, Partner & Solicitor -
International Corporate Law & Litigation

Benoît, Delcade’s co-founder, is a Paris Bar lawyer and UK Solicitor (London).

Advisor for various embassies, working closely with the firm's team, Benoît offers his services to French and foreign companies requiring cross-cutting strategic and legal support in business law.

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