There is a small corner of the French law of obligations regarding quasi contracts, unjust enrichment and restitution which has been the subject of reform of the law of obligations in 2016 and to which little attention has been paid.
Under the heading “Other sources of obligations”, quasi contracts have seen their status raised within the structure of the civil code so that they now appear on the same level as contracts and the French law of tort.
The bill on urgent economic and social measures following the announcements made by the French President on 10 December 2018 in response to the protests by the “yellow vests” (in French “gilets jaunes”) has already been adopted and published on 26 December such that the measures can apply as from 1 January 2019.
The main provision is the possibility for employers to pay their employees an exceptional bonus (“prime exceptionnelle de pouvoir d’achat”] which is tax-free and not subject to social charges and contributions.
Brexit – The UK Government’s paper The Future Relationship between the United Kingdom and the European Union contains two central proposals for establishing a free trade area for goods but at the same time a new framework for control of movements of people.
These two issues represent some of the core reasons of the uncertainty about the future relationship between the European Union and the United Kingdom: whether or not there will be a hard customs barrier and what restrictions will there be on the movement of persons?
Draft law on the action plan for the growth and transformation of enterprises (PACTE) is to be put before the lower house of the French Parliament in September.
The draft provisions include measures to reduce restrictions on small and medium size business. Setting up new companies will be simplified in order to reduce costs and speed up the formation process. Currently companies are registered on each local company and commercial register where they have their registered office and branches. There are currently circa 1400 business formalities centres in France. Under the new proposal a single online service will be put in place to manage the registration of new companies.
The new bill for the freedom to choose one’s professional future, also referred to as the second part of the reform of the social model after the Macron orders and known as “Pénicaud II”, has finally been adopted by the French Parliament last 1 August 2018.
However, three actions have immediately been introduced before the Constitutional Council and thus the law will probably only be promulgated at the beginning of September 2018.