December 5th – On the 4th, local time, French Minister of Economy Bruno Le Maire announced in an interview with BFM TV that the monthly universal solidarity fund of 1,500 euros applicable to all economic fields will end on December 31, and “the government will phase out some aid if it is no longer needed. ” and at the same time shift to more targeted support.
According to BFM TV, Bruno Le Maire stressed that this universal solidarity fund benefits all companies that have lost more than 50% of turnover, but because economic activity has resumed, there is no reason to continue to fully implement this measure. In the future, it will focus on strengthening support for enterprises that have been forced to administrative closures, such as restaurants and Gyms, etc., this is fair and appropriate adjustment. Since December 1, the government has refocused aid on hotels, restaurants, cafes, aviation industries and other industries hardest hit by the epidemic.
Bruno LeMaire also announced that meal tickets for 2020, which were originally scheduled to expire at the end of February 2021, will now be extended until September 1, 2021 to support the restaurant industry. In June this year, the government raised the daily payment ceiling for restaurant consumption from 19 euros to 38 euros, a measure that will also continue until September 2021. According to the French government’s plan, restaurants will be closed until at least January 20, 2021. Extending the use of meal tickets will bring 700 million euros in purchasing power to restaurants, which will be more conducive to the recovery of the industry.
For the industries most affected by the epidemic crisis, another latest support plan introduced by the French government is that the state will bear the cost of 10 days of paid leave for each “part-time unemployed” employee, and enterprises must submit the relevant application from January 1 to 20, 2021.
According to the French Ministry of Labor, the new measure adheres to two criteria, one is that the administrative closure of enterprises will reach 140 days in 2020, and the other is that the turnover will decline by at least 90% during the health emergency, which not only restaurants can benefit, but also hotels.
This is a much-anticipated measure in the catering industry. Catering companies have been forced to close during the epidemic lockdown, while “part-time unemployed” employees are still accumulating 2.5 days of paid leave per month. Since March this year, 16 million paid leave days of paid leave have not been taken by industry employees, which means a cost of 1.5 billion euros.
This has become a hot topic in the industry after France launched the first round of lockdown this spring, and this concern has intensified as the second round of lockdown restarted in November, and the industry is worried that it will not be able to cope with paid leave requirements for employees when cash flow is almost exhausted when it is allowed to reopen.
“It’s a time bomb,” said Didier Cienay, president of the French Independent Group for Hotel and Catering Independence. On this issue, French Minister of Labour, Elizabeth Born, has worked with major trade unions in the catering industry, such as the French Federation of Hospitality and Industry, the French National Independent Group for Hotel and Catering, and employers’ organizations such as the French Employers Association, the French Federation of Small and Medium-sized Enterprises, and the Federation of Handicraft Professional Employers. The table conducts consultations. The French Ministry of Labor estimates that the cost of providing this new aid is “sunder billions of euros”.