faced with “a huge waste”, the government unveils its proposals for those over 55


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The Minister of the Economy Bruno Le Maire and the Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne. Vernier Jean-Bernard / Vernier Jean-Bernard/JBV News/ABACA

Alignment of the duration of unemployment compensation, gradual exit from the labor market… The Minister of the Economy wants “a real action plan for the employment of those over 55”.

The government is once again tackling the issue of employment of seniors. This Thursday, Elisabeth Borne estimated that “ping on their expertise and experience (was) a huge waste“. “We will not be able to achieve full employment without meeting this challenge», declared the Prime Minister during the “Impact PME” event organized by the Confederation of SMEs (CPME) in Paris, calling on social partners to find “new and ambitious solutions“.

A few hours earlier, Bruno Le Maire had also returned to this subject. One week after his words having sparked a controversy over senior unemployment, the Minister of the Economy and Finance clarified his proposals on France Inter, presented as “a real action plan for the employment of over 55s“. The boss of Bercy first congratulated himself on having brought this subject back to the forefront. Wishing to put an end to “a certain number of hypocrisies» of the French social model, he put forward “very concrete measures» aimed at promoting the employment of seniors and fighting against their early exclusion from the labor market. First, all people between 35 and 45 years old exercising a profession “difficult […]hard» should have a “automatic right to a new qualification, training», in order to avoid ending your career in a demanding profession.

Then, the minister pleaded for a “gradual exit» of the labor market for those over 55. They could thus have contracts allowing them to work 80% of the time, while still receiving “90% of their salary and 100% of their retirement contributions“. A way to gradually support them towards retirement, while keeping them in their jobs and allowing companies to benefit from their “expertise“, he argued. It remains to be defined, however, who would pay the difference between the salary and the actual working time, a point “that we need to discuss» with the social partners, specified Bruno Le Maire. This system would, however, make it possible to combat unemployment among seniors, thus bringing additional contributions to state coffers.

The alignment of unemployment compensation with other ets can also be discussed, he argued. He also promised to take other measures soon “strong» in favor of the employment of the youngest, always with the objective of reaching full employment by the end of the five-year term.

Read also“They are less sick, more punctual, they know how to write…”: these bosses who favor seniors

The “northern European countries” model

Last week, Bruno Le Maire had already spoken out in favor of a reform of the duration of unemployment compensation for seniors, whose employment rate reached, in 2022, 66%, well below the 25 to 49 year olds – 82, 5%. A “scandal», he protested, speaking to Franceinfo, denouncing a system which consists of sidelining the oldest, to make way for the youngest. He thus defended a transformation which would also make it possible to fight against theretire early» disguised by these workers. Their protection being more extensive than other ets, they can be retired early. “Why 27 months?Bruno Le Maire pretended to question himself.

This is not the first time that these subjects have been addressed by the government. During the presentation of the pension reform project last year, the Prime Minister had already indicated want to reform the professional prevention account (C2P). Objective: use it to allow workers in difficult jobs to reorient themselves. If there already exists a progressive retirement system in France, the boss of Bercy wants to go further. He cited as an example the “northern European countries», like what Olivier Dussopt did these last months, welcoming the Swedish example. Same observation for MP (Renaissance) Astrid Panosyan-Bouvet, member of the social affairs committee and the study group on the adaptation of society to aging: “We know what works with the example of Finland: a methodical and comprehensive plan. Health at work, professional training, gradual retirement, change in our cultural representations of seniors in the workplace… We must address all of these issues at the same time”she indicated to our colleagues at World, this Thursday.

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