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Eurofound's EU PolicyWatch collates information on the responses of government and social partners to the COVID-19 crisis, the war in Ukraine, rising inflation, as well as gathering examples of company practices aimed at mitigating the social and economic impacts.

Factsheet for measure FR-2020-12/553 Updated – measures in France

Deadlines for the payment of social and/or fiscal instalments

Délais de paiement d’échéances sociales et/ou fiscales

Country France , applies nationwide
Time period Temporary, 15 March 2020 – 28 February 2022
Context COVID-19
Type Legislations or other statutory regulations
Category Supporting businesses to stay afloat
– Deferral of payments or liabilities
Author Frédéric Turlan (IRshare) and Eurofound
Measure added 13 April 2020 (updated 06 July 2023)

Background information

The measure is focused on employers and self-employed, to relieve their cash flow. These subjects, indeed, have been strongly affected by the COVID-19 crisis, being partially or totally prevented to conduct their activity, or anyway losing business opportunities.

In particular, they are allowed to defer all or part of the payment of their employee and employer contributions due by deadline set in March and April 2020. The payment date of these contributions may be deferred for up to 3 months. No penalty will be applied.

Content of measure

In a press release dated 3 April 2020, the Minister of Action and Public Accounts announced the extension of the contribution deferral measures for the April social security payments. Thus, employers that had to pay social contribution on 15 April could defer all or part of the payment of their employee and employer contributions. This deferral of contributions is not automatic and implies an action to modify the payment order or transfer.

For the self-employed, the monthly due dates of 20 March and 5 April were not deducted in order to relieve their cash flow. Pending further action, the amount of this due date will be smoothed over subsequent due dates (April to December). In addition to this measure, self-employed workers may request:

  • the granting of payment deadlines, including by anticipation. There will be no late payment increase or penalty;
  • an adjustment of their contribution schedule to take account of a drop in their income, by re-estimating their income without waiting for the annual declaration;
  • Intervention by the social action for the partial or total payment of their contributions or for the allocation of exceptional financial aid.

Other measures allow the employer to postpone some tax payments.


The following updates to this measure have been made after it came into effect.

13 May 2022

The exemption and assistance schemes for the payment of social security contributions have been renewed up to February 2022 by a decree of 13 May. These measures concern companies with fewer than 250 employees in certain sectors (S1 and S1 bis), which have been banned from receiving the public or which have suffered a drop in turnover of at least 30%. The conditions of eligibility are identical to those for December and January. However, aid for the payment of contributions is limited to the rate of 15% when the drop in turnover is less than 65%.

07 January 2022

A decree of 25 March 2021 has detailed the terms and conditions for the application of the plans for the settlement of debts for social security contributions introduced by the third amending finance law for 2020 in order to support businesses affected by the health crisis. These plans may provide for a settlement over a period of up to three years, but may be extended to five in certain cases. A new decree of 6 December 2021 specifies that employers, self-employed workers and non-salaried agricultural workers carrying out their main activity in one of the sectors most affected by the crisis or in the overseas departments and collectivities where the state of health emergency has been extended may be concerned by this five-year period.

02 July 2021

The URSSAF network has renewed its exceptional measures to help companies with their cash flow in July. As in previous months, the possibility of deferring all or part of the payment of employee and employer contributions has been introduced for the 5 and 15 July deadlines, the URSSAF said in a note published on 2 July. On the other hand, the postponement will no longer be possible in August except in the case of persistent restrictions linked to the epidemic and will only concern employers' contributions.

03 June 2021

A previous decree of 12 April 2021, issued in accordance with the provisions of the Social Security Financing Act for 2021, had already extended, until 28 February 2021, the periods of employment during which the exemption from employer's social security contributions and contributions and assistance with the payment of social security contributions could be applied.

The new decree of 3 June concerns periods of employment in March and April 2021. It covers employers in sectors S1 (tourism, hotels, restaurants, sports, culture, air transport, events) and S1 bis (whose activity is dependent on the above-mentioned sectors), as well as those in sector S2 (employers with fewer than 50 employees whose main activity is in sectors other than S1 and S1 bis, and who have been banned from receiving the public, which "predominantly" affects their business).

With regard to the assessment of the condition of a 50% drop in turnover (sectors S1 and S1 bis), the decree adds that it may continue, in 2021, to be assessed in relation to the turnover of the same month of 2019, when this comparison is more favourable for the company than an assessment in relation to the same month of 2020.

26 May 2021

Since the beginning of the health crisis, the URSSAF has launched exceptional measures to support self-employed workers experiencing cash flow difficulties, in particular the suspension of levies for the sectors most affected by the crisis. Other support measures (reduction of contributions, debt remission, settlement plan) have also been taken within the framework of the third amending finance law for 2020 and the social security financing law for 2021. On 26 May 2021, the URSSAF presented the new support measures for self-employed workers implemented in connection with the 2020 income tax return (see source section).

26 November 2020

Following the announcement of the second lockdown from 30 October, the Social security (URSSAF) is once again putting in place exceptional measures to support the cash flow of companies and the self-employed. As under the previous lockdown, a possibility of deferring all or part of the payment of employee and employer contributions has been put in place, for the deadlines of 5 and 15 November, states across in a press release dated 30 October 2020.

Use of measure

In its annual report for 2020, published on 5 July 2021, the URSSAF network, which is responsible for collecting social security contributions, presents an assessment of the exceptional measures for deferring the payment of contributions to relieve companies' cash flow, as well as exemptions and payment assistance. More than 1.8 million self-employed workers and 840,900 companies have deferred their contributions, for a total of €28.1 billion.

Target groups

Workers Businesses Citizens
Does not apply to businesses Does not apply to citizens

Actors and funding

Actors Funding
National government
Company / Companies
Social insurance
National funds

Social partners

Social partners' role in designing the measure and form of involvement:

Trade unions Employers' organisations
Role Consulted Consulted
Form Any other form of consultation, institutionalised (as stable working groups or committees) or informal Any other form of consultation, institutionalised (as stable working groups or committees) or informal

Social partners' role in the implementation, monitoring and assessment phase:

  • No involvement
  • Main level of involvement: Sectoral or branch level


No information available.

Views and reactions

The measure is decided by the government. However, discussion exist between the government and social partners representatives seating in the social security bodies.


  • 25 March 2020: Ordonnance no 2020-312 du 25 mars 2020 relative à la prolongation de droits sociaux (
  • 07 April 2020: Mesures exceptionnelles pour les entreprises touchées par le coronavirus : Echéance Urssaf du 15 avrilde revenus de remplacement mentionnés à l’article L. 5421-2 du code du travail (
  • 15 April 2020: Ordonnance nº 2020-428 du 15 avril 2020 portant diverses dispositions sociales pour faire face à l'épidémie de covid-19 (
  • 25 March 2021: Décret n° 2021-316 du 25 mars 2021 relatif aux dispositifs de plans d'apurement et de remises partielles des dettes de cotisations et contributions sociales constituées dans le cadre de la crise sanitaire (
  • 26 May 2021: Covid-19 : mise en place des nouvelles mesures pour les travailleurs indépendants (
  • 02 July 2021: Mesures exceptionnelles pour accompagner les entreprises : le point sur vos prochaines échéances (
  • 03 July 2021: Décret n° 2021-709 du 3 juin 2021 relatif à la prolongation des mesures concernant les cotisations et contributions sociales des entreprises et travailleurs indépendants (
  • 15 July 2021: URSAFF, Rapport d'activité 2020 (
  • 07 December 2021: Décret n° 2021-1579 du 6 décembre 2021 modifiant le décret n° 2021-316 du 25 mars 2021 relatif aux dispositifs de plans d'apurement et de remises partielles des dettes de cotisations et contributions sociales constituées dans le cadre de la crise sanitaire (
  • 13 May 2022: Décret n° 2022-806 du 13 mai 2022 modifiant le décret n° 2021-75 du 27 janvier 2021 relatif à l'application des mesures concernant les cotisations et contributions sociales des entreprises, travailleurs indépendants et artistes-auteurs mentionnées à l'article 9 de la loi n° 2020-1576 du 14 décembre 2020 de financement de la sécurité sociale pour 2021 (


Eurofound (2020), Deadlines for the payment of social and/or fiscal instalments, measure FR-2020-12/553 (measures in France), EU PolicyWatch, Dublin,


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Disclaimer: This information has not been subject to the full Eurofound evaluation, editorial and publication process.