Unemployment insurance reform: the modulation of rights definitively adopted

Parliament finally adopted Thursday, November 17, the bill paving the way for a modulation of unemployment insurance according to the economic situation, a prospect that bristles the left, the far right and the unions. The senators endorsed Thursday noon a compromise reached with deputies on this text, which did not require the use of the constitutional weapon of 49.3 thanks to an agreement concluded with the right.

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Labor Minister Olivier Dussopt’s bill initially plans to extend the current unemployment insurance rules, resulting from a disputed reform of Macron’s first five-year term. A decree to this effect was issued in advance at the end of October. It also makes it possible to modulate certain unemployment insurance rules by decree so that it is “stricter when too many jobs are unfilled, more generous when unemployment is high”in accordance with Emmanuel Macron’s campaign promise.

Consultation is underway with the social partners and the government will make known “retained arbitrations” November 21, for an application of modulation at the beginning of 2023. “We are working on a modulation of the maximum duration[ale] of compensation », currently between twenty-four and thirty-six months depending on age, Mr Dussopt told MPs on Tuesday. Thereby “we do not plan to modify the conditions of affiliation to the unemployment insurance system”.

It takes six months of work over a reference period of twenty-four months for the opening of rights. The executive considers that there is urgency because of the recruitment difficulties of companies and makes this reform a first stone of its strategy to achieve full employment in 2027, ie an unemployment rate of about 5%, against 7.4% currently.

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“We did not fold”

Deputies and senators managed to a compromise on this text in the joint committee last week, at the cost of a hardening imposed by the senators Les Républicains (LR), to which the minister was initially opposed. It was added that the refusal twice in one year of a permanent contract (CDI) after a fixed-term contract (CDD) or an interim contract in the same position, in the same place and with the same remuneration would result in the loss of unemployment compensation. It will be up to the employer (or both employers) to inform Pôle emploi, which poses a “technical difficulty” so that it is not a ” Gaz factory “judged Mr. Dussopt. “The government did not want it, but we did not bend”, welcomed Frédérique Puissat (LR), rapporteur for the text in the Senate. His counterpart in the Assembly, Marc Ferracci (Renaissance), finds the measure “not very operational and legally fragile”and sees “a somewhat ideological approach, even if there is a real subject on the refusal of CDI”.

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Another provision, added by amendments from the presidential majority and LR deputies, is still debated: “Abandonment of post” will now be equated with a resignation, to limit access to unemployment insurance. Right-wing elected officials “have been a source of proposals, both in the Assembly and in the Senate”insists MP LR Stéphane Viry, who believes, however, that the bill “do not exhaust” the reforms to be carried out.

In unison with the unions, the left criticizes “right-wing reform” whose objective would be to “lower unemployment benefits”. Before the final vote on Tuesday in the Assembly, won by 210 votes to 140, the “rebellious” defended, in vain, a final motion to reject this text which, according to them, gives “a disposable vision of employees”. The Socialists have announced a referral to the Constitutional Council. The National Rally (RN) deputies also voted against the text, which, according to them, puts “punishment and guilt on the agenda”. The bill also provides for the opening of a consultation on the governance of unemployment insurance and a “drastic simplification” validation of acquired experience (VAE), according to the Minister Delegate, Carole Grandjean.

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The World with AFP

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