What’s in store for US ex-pats now Macron’s in power?

Posted on 17 May 2017 by IRIS FMP

With Donald Trump aiming to meet new French president Emmanuel Macron in Brussels soon there seems to be a new entente cordial between the two countries. Or is there?

Socialist Emmanuel Macron made a huge dig at Donald Trump by continuing to encourage US ex-pats to move to the European nation, in a bid to woo US talent from across the Atlantic.

What does that mean for US companies looking to place expats in the country?

As with all these things getting expats up and running and complying with local payroll laws and legislation is always a worry. And then there’s the language.

If you have in house specialists who know the ins and outs of French law then all is well. But if you don’t, then trying to locate an in-country specialist and then dealing with them, with potential language barriers and making payments in Euros, could make it stressful.

In France, there are strict labour laws and a 35-hour working week policy. Mr Macron provoked controversy when, as economy minister, he suggested scrapping the 35-hour rule. Now as president he plans to introduce flexibility on overtime. He has pledged to give companies the freedom to negotiate specific deals on working hours and pay.

When in France, what’s needed for good payroll?

Our recent blogs have highlighted things to consider when working abroad, and it will pay to employ a specialist if you’re not going to handle things yourself. If you are then consider these things:Will your business activity attract Principal Place of Establishment tax status?

  • Will your first employee be working alone reporting directly to management in your home country?
  • Will your employee (and you) pay social security in the home country or in France
  • Which collective bargaining agreement applies to your industry?
  • Which category of employee will your employee belong to?
  • Is there a trial period? How long would you like the trial period to last?
  • Will the employee be working from home?

Of course, Mr Macron may have trouble attracting US entrepreneurs to France due to America’s FATCA policy, that allows government personnel to locate US ex-pats to find out if branch they owe tax or penalties.

But if US companies do decide to take up Macron’s offer then make sure you’ve got your payroll in order first.