What changes in France in March 2019


Moped training

Youngsters from 14 years old are now obliged to take eight hours of exams before they are allowed on the roads on mopeds, quad bikes, and voiturettes (better known as the drunkards’ cars).

The training will include road risk awareness, and also has to involve at least one parent or legal representative. There is also a mandatory clothing rule for the test, including an approved helmet, gloves, long sleeved jacket, trousers, and shoes.

Equal pay

Businesses with more than 1,000 employees are now obliged to publish a list which records the difference of pay between the sexes, and the distribution of pay rises and bonuses.

If, after three years, the businesses don’t achieve at least 75 points to prove that they are addressing the disparity, they may be issued a penalty of 1 percent of their wage bill.
Businesses with more than 250 employees will be brought into the new system in September, and SMEs in March 2020.

Tobacco is going up again

The government want to reach the symbolic price of €10 for a packet of cigarettes by 2020, and they are getting there by adding on a few centimes several times a year. New increased are also planned for next November, then March and November 2020.

The rise this month is an average of 50 cents per packet, making the current cost between €7.50 and €9.40. Rolling tobacco is already around €10.

Grants for eco-renovations are simplified

The eco-PTZ tax has changed so that more people can benefit from the zero rate loan tax. The intention is that it will encourage renovation to make your house greener.

The tax now applies to all homes over two years old. The borrowing period has been standardised to 15 years, and the repayment extension period is between 10 and 15 years for certain types of work.

The system historically demands that works should include at least two of roof insulation, wall insulation, window replacement, installation or replacement of heating or domestic hot water, choice of renewable energy for new heating, and choice of renewable energy for the PECS. New changes demand that only one of these should be done in order to be eligible for the scheme.

French Tech Visa extended to all “innovative” companies

In 2017 a “Tech Visa” was created to attract non-European innovative techies and entrepreneurs to France.

Now you are potentially eligible for one even if your company isn’t digital.

Daylight hours

The clocks change on the 31st March this year, so you can look forward to lighter evenings soon.

There is a move in France to stay in one timezone the year round. Read more about that here.


Let’s not talk about that.