“We would like this increase in the duration of employment of senior job seekers to be shifted by two years, from 55 to 57 years, to be consistent with what we have done on the retirement age,” declared the Minister of Labor.
With a view to increasing the employment rate of seniors, Olivier Dussopt wants to raise the age of access to long-term compensation for older unemployed people from 55 to 57. Announced during the program “Questions Politiques” (France Inter, France Télévisions and The world), this measure would make it possible to“be consistent with what we have done on the retirement age” and is justified “because we know that one of the challenges for full employment in France is the employment of seniors”, explained the Minister of Labor. Which, however, does not take up the proposal of Bruno Le Maire, the Minister of the Economy, to shorten the duration of compensation for seniors.
Conventional termination, “a tool for fluidity”
The maximum duration of unemployment insurance compensation for the unemployed is currently 18 months up to age 52, 22.5 months for those aged 53-54 and 27 months for those aged 55 and over. Which, according to Bruno Le Maire, results in “retire early for those over 55”. At the end of November, he said he wanted to reverse the trend, by reducing the duration of compensation for those over 55, from 27 to 18 months.
“The question is not so much the duration (of compensation) as ensuring that we do not have systems” which encourage “get seniors out of the job market”, affirms, for his part, Olivier Dussopt. He is particularly thinking of the conventional termination, too often used in this sense. “We want to find ways to ensure that the conventional termination remains a tool of fluidity, freedom and reciprocal agreement between the employee and their employer”insists the minister.
Even though it has progressed in step with pension reforms, the employment rate of seniors remains low in France. Only 36.2% of people aged 60 to 64 have a professional activity. With a view to reaching full employment in 2027, the government must move up a gear. Negotiations on the employment of seniors have been underway since November between the social partners. It should last until March 2024 and result in a bill, probably before the summer.