Gabriel Attal confirms a tightening of the rules “to move towards full employment”

Gabriel Attal specified, in an interview with the “Tribune Dimanche”, that the government was going to issue a decree on July 1 so that the reform “could come into force on December 1”.


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Gabriel Attal, May 24, 2024 in Maisons-Alfort (Val-de-Marne).  (MIGUEL MEDINA / AFP)

Unemployment insurance compensation rules will be tightened from December 1, confirmed Gabriel Attal in an interview published in La Tribune Sunday, Sunday May 26. The objective, according to the Prime Minister: “move towards full employment” And “value work even more”.

Thus, the duration of compensation will be reduced to 15 months “under current conditions”, that is to say if the unemployment rate remains below 9%, for unemployed people under 57 years old. And you will have to have worked 8 months over the last 20 months to be compensated, compared to 6 months over the last 24 months currently, specified the head of government. These elements confirm the ideas given this week to the social partners by the Minister of Labor, Catherine Vautrin.

Gabriel Attal specified that the government was going to issue a decree on July 1 so that the reform “may come into force on December 1”. Changing the compensation rules requires updating the information systems of France Travail (formerly Pôle Emploi) which cannot be done overnight.

The Prime Minister also confirmed the creation of a “senior job bonus”. Thanks to this measure, “an unemployed senior who returns to a job that is less well paid than their previous job will be able to combine their new salary with their unemployment benefit” and “will thus regain their initial salary for one year”, explained the tenant of Matignon. The unions had reported that salaries would thus be compensated up to 3,000 euros. He also wanted to create a “senior indexes” and study the creation of a “senior permanent contract”.

The bonus malus system on short contracts, criticized by employers and today limited to seven sectors of activity, will be the subject of an examination on “the opportunity to extend it depending on the evaluation to be carried out”. “I am instructing Catherine Vautrin to lead a consultation to identify the sectors which will be intended to enter this system and at what pace”, detailed the head of government. Received by the Minister of Labor this week, the president of Medef Patrick Martin displayed his “support for reform” while saying he is opposed “to a generalization or even a simple extension of the bonus malus”.

Finally, the Prime Minister confirmed the addition of a new threshold to reduce the duration of compensation, already reduced by 25% since February 2023, even more if the unemployment rate falls below 6.5%. However, he did not specify how much. The CGT had reported that this duration would be reduced in this case by an additional 15 percentage points, or 40%, which would bring it down to 12 months.

“To prepare for the economic rebound of 2025 that the forecasters predict, I hope that the rules will be even more encouraging when growth picks up again and the unemployment rate decreases”, pleads Gabriel Attal. For the Prime Minister, “it is not a reform of the economy, but of prosperity and activity”. “The gain will be measured by a greater number of French people who will work. And therefore more funding for our system“, he assured.

According to the Ministry of Labor, the government expects 3.6 billion euros in savings from the reform and plans an increase “from 90 000 the number of people in employment”. Tightening the affiliation condition would alone generate 2.8 billion in savings, according to the CGT.

“It’s really an anti-young person measure,” reacted Denis Gravouil, the negotiator on unemployment insurance at the Montreuil central of the CGT, for whom the absence of a decision to extend the bonus malus shows that “the government is totally aligned with the interests of employers”. He judges that the reform is “criminal”citing studies on the health of the unemployed and those around them which show “the suicide rate of unemployed people at the end of their rights is twice as high as in the employed population”.

“The objective is not the incentive, the return to employment, since there is no link with the fact of reducing rights to this point”, estimated for his part Olivier Guivarch of the CFDT. For the union negotiator, this “confirms that the objective was financial”. In government “They start from a sum that they must find and they look at what measures can produce this reduction in spending fairly quickly” at the risk of“forcing certain people to take poor quality jobs, short contracts, multiple jobs” to get out of it.

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