The executive’s leitmotif is that unemployment insurance be “stricter when too many jobs are unfilled, more generous when unemployment is high”, an idea supported by the employers’ organisations, but which all the unions oppose. The government will unveil, Monday, November 21, to the social partners its decisions on its new unemployment insurance reform, which should vary the duration of compensation according to the unemployment rate, according to union and employer sources. During a meeting at the Ministry of Labor in the morning, Olivier Dussopt will detail “retained arbitrations” after a consultation started in October.
The government has ruled out touching the level of compensation and has given up on a variation of the rules according to the local employment situation, which is too complex to implement. “We are not going to compensate less, we are going to work on the duration of compensation”conserving ” a floor “confirmed Mr. Dussopt on Sunday.
The conditions of access to compensation, ie the fact of having worked six months over a reference period of twenty-four months, will not be changed either. The government “will not decrease the number of people eligible for unemployment insurance”assured the minister.
The first impacts expected from 1er august
On the other hand, according to union and employer negotiators, the Minister will announce that beyond a minimum of six months, the duration of compensation will vary according to the unemployment rate for job seekers opening rights from the 1er February 2023. The first impacts are therefore expected from 1er august.
Today, the duration of compensation is applied according to the principle of one day worked, one day compensated, with a maximum of twenty-four months for those under 53, thirty months for those aged 53-54 and thirty- six months for those aged 55 or over.
When the labor market situation is considered to be good, the duration of compensation will be reduced by a coefficient which will be announced on Monday. If the coefficient used is 0.8, for example, this will mean that a jobseeker who would be entitled to ten months of allowance under the current system will only be entitled to eight months. Intermittent performers or overseas will not be affected. “After having reduced the amount of compensation [des personnes alternant chômage et emploi] during the reform of 2019, now they reduce the duration”critic Marylise Léon, member of the French Democratic Confederation of Labor (CFDT).
The criterion for assessing the labor market situation should be the evolution of the unemployment rate as defined by the International Labor Office (ILO). The way to assess it – threshold, dynamics – will be specified on Monday, but it should make it possible to apply the reform if unemployment remains as it has been since the start of the year around 7.3-7.4%.
A decree to come
The executive repeats that there is urgency in the face of the recruitment difficulties of companies, and makes this reform a first stone of its strategy to achieve full employment in 2027, i.e. an unemployment rate of around 5%.
The government puts forward studies according to which the unemployed would intensify their job search in the months preceding the end of their compensation, and therefore that by reducing this duration, people would come out of unemployment earlier.
“Pipe! »replies Eric Courpotin of the French Confederation of Christian Workers (CFTC). “It is not by reducing the duration that we will find manpower. We should have worked on work-related costs: travel, childcare, housing…” “The goal is to save money”adds Michel Beaugas of Force Ouvrière (FO).
The government will then issue a decree. This was made possible by the “labour market” bill, adopted by Parliament on Thursday, which gives the hand to the government to decide on the rules until the end of 2023 in place of the social partners.
But the Minister has already assured that this modulation would be present in the “guiding letter” which will be sent to the social partners in the course of 2023 in order to negotiate new rules for the 1er January 2024.
The government also wants employers and unions, which manage Unédic, to work at the beginning of 2023 on a new governance of the regime. But these people want governance and compensation to be negotiated at the same time and do not want to formalize the presence of the state in the management of unemployment insurance.