New Pacte Law cautiously welcomed by French business leaders

Presented last June 18 to the French Council of Ministers, the draft Pact for the transformation of businesses was eagerly awaited by business leaders. The pact received fairly comprehensive approval from the majority of ministers even if the interest in reforming staffing levels leaves some of them slightly doubtful on whether the pact will be successful. These conclusions were revealed in a survey conducted on the flagship measures of this bill by the OpinionWay polling institute for CCI France, La Tribune and Europe 1.

Business leaders favour the creation of a single office by the Pact Act with reservations…

The measure which has been most warmly received by business leaders is the creation of a single electronic office to facilitate business start-up procedures. According to the survey conducted by OpinionWay, 79% of French business leaders consider that the establishment of this device is good news with 64% of them thinking that the single office will facilitate the creation of companies while 60% of those surveyed assume that the creation of the single electronic office will speed up the administrative procedures.

It should be noted, however, that 48% of French business leaders believe that the risk of error will be increased with this measure and it is  not surprising therefore that 94% of business leaders are in favour of human support being maintained in conjunction with the electronic office. Despite these reservations, the majority of those surveyed support the creation of the electronic office with 83% of respondents in favour of its creation with 14% of them saying they are “very favourable” towards the creation of a single electronic office.

Reform of the workforce thresholds receives lukewarm approval

As for the reform of workforce thresholds announced by Bruno Le Maire, only 31% of French business leaders believe that this measure will have a positive impact on the French economy, and 54% of them think it will have no impact at all. Mr Le Maire, the French Minister of the Economy, had proposed to give companies five years to meet the obligations related to these thresholds, and to create three different threshold levels depending on the size and activity of companies.

French bosses are even more sceptical when asked their opinion about the possible effects of this measure on their own businesses. 91% of them think that the reform will have no impact on their business, while only 6% of those surveyed believe that the proposed reform will encourage them to increase their number of employees.

Morale of business leaders up slightly

While business morale was seen to have fallen between April and May 2019, morale rose slightly in June, apparently related to the Pact bill. Although growth slowed in the first quarter and the overall outlook is worse than expected for 2018, 50% of French business leaders remain confident and 46% say they are optimistic about the future. Finally, 73% of business leaders stated that they are confident about the business outlook over the next twelve months, compared with 83% two months ago.