Self-employed workers: Parliament adopts a single statute to distinguish between professional and personal assets

Parliament definitively adopted, on Tuesday 8 February, a bill aimed at “better protection” the approximately three million self-employed and “to make their life easier”. This compromise text, approved unanimously in the Senate and the National Assembly, is however judged “insufficient” by the left, which abstained.

The bill creates a single status for the self-employed (craftsmen, merchants, liberal professionals, etc.), which makes a distinction between their professional assets and their personal assets. Personal property will now by default be unseizable in the event of bankruptcy, whereas today only the principal residence is protected.

This measure, which derogates from the legal principle of the uniqueness of heritage, was a long-standing request from these workers, whose activity by nature faces significant risks, brutally brought to light by the Covid-19 health crisis. . It will enter into force three months after the promulgation of the law.

“However, miracles should not be expected, because the most important creditors, in particular the banks, will continue to require special securities on certain assets of the entrepreneur, including his personal assets”warned the rapporteur for the text in the Senate, Christophe-André Frassa (LR).

“We will expect banking establishments to take all responsibility in the implementation of this reform, we will be very vigilant (…)”, promised the Minister of Small and Medium Enterprises, Jean-Baptiste Lemoyne. The attitude of the banks is also “a point of vigilance” pointed out by the Syndicat des Indépendants, which welcomed “a decisive leap to improve the status of individual entrepreneurs as well as their social and fiscal situations”.

Another flagship measure of the text: the conditions of access to the allowance for self-employed workers are extended to any total and definitive cessation of activity which is not economically viable. Unlike employees, the self-employed cannot indeed receive unemployment. Since 2019, they can benefit from a specific allowance, a lump sum of 800 euros per month for a maximum period of six months, but only in the event of liquidation or recovery.

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