New: As part of the decisions relating to the budget bill for 2017, an amendment passed on 20 October by the National Assembly aims to partially modify the fiscal and social regime of free share allocation, as has been provided for in Macron’s law since August 2015. However, the parliamentary process is just beginning and this provision has not been definitively approved.

Article 4a of the budget bill for 2017, as it resulted from the decisions of the National Assembly following the session on 20 October 2016

Our comments: The amendment has been passed by the National Assembly against the wishes of the government, with the latter wishing to preserve the stability of fiscal and social regulations in the new free share regime. The amendment is not definitive and will probably be the subject of various arbitrations up until the end of the legislative process for budget bills at the end of December. The Secretary of State for the Budget has also mentioned the possibility, as part of discussions on the Social Security Financing Act for 2017, of returning to a situation where the employer’s contribution becomes chargeable at the moment of the decision to allocate shares, not at the point of their definitive acquisition by the beneficiary one year later.

In any event, if modifications to the free share allocation regime were deemed necessary, these would only apply, one would hope, to shares allocated after the law is definitively approved.