6 top tips for working from home in France
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1) Whether you are working for your own business that you established while living in the UK, through a portage salarial regime (see below) or as an employee or contractor, you will need to have the right to work in France to legally do so even from your own home – regardless of whether your clients/employer are in the UK or further afield. This means you will need an EU passport, carte de séjour or a relevant visa showing the right to work.
2) Many people ask: if I can work remotely from France, can’t I just continue working for my UK employer and pay tax and NI in the UK with no change? Unfortunately not; both social charges and income tax will need to be paid to the French authorities by your employer (employees’ social charges and employers’ social charges) and a French contract of employment issued.
3) Communication is the backbone of most remote working so ensure you have adequate connectivity in place well before your first working day. In remote areas, where 4G isn’t reliable, then satellite might be needed as backup. In areas where violent summer storms can lead to power cuts, keep a fully charged power pack on hand so that you can charge essential devices in an emergency.
4) If you are working from home in France, your ‘home office’ may entitle you to a reduction in social charges/tax. The allowance can equate to 10-15% of the rental value of your property and an allocation for heating and lighting, so it’s well worth investigating.
5) Keep connected with others who are working from home – if friends or family aren’t in a similar position then try seeking out those who are through online groups or forums – working from home can bring a wonderful freedom but occasionally loneliness and loss of structure, and chatting to those in the same boat can replace a little of the social contact lost by not working in a traditional office environment.
6) For freelancers who wish to keep working for a UK employer, the 'portage salarial' regime may provide the answer. Similar to a UK umbrella scheme, it allows workers to operate with the freedom of freelancing but on a PAYE basis.
Helena Fenn-Summers is the Brand Manager at Freelance in France