Towards a compromise between social partners on the occupational accidents-occupational diseases branch

Unions and employers should have more influence on the governance of an insurance system that is as little known as it is essential: the one that compensates the victims of an accident at work or an occupational disease. On the night of Monday May 15 to Tuesday May 16, at the end of a final negotiation session which lasted nearly ten hours, they reached a draft national interprofessional agreement which reinforces their prerogatives on this branch of the regime. General of Social Security.

The text already has the imprimatur of the three employer movements: Medef, Confederation of small and medium-sized enterprises (CPME), Union of local businesses. The five employee organizations, for their part, must consult their authorities before adopting a position, but the CFDT will, in all likelihood, sign. The CFE-CGC also seems to be going in this direction, while reserving its response. Stakeholders have until May 31 to make their decision known.

The management of professional risks is based on a system which constitutes one of the five pillars of the “Sécu” – with Health insurance, the autonomy branch, the network of family allowance funds and Old-age insurance . At present, the occupational accidents and diseases branch (AT-MP) is in brilliant financial health: in 2022, it generated a surplus of 1.6 billion euros, according to the Court of Auditors (knowing that in 2023, the result could be better, at 2.2 billion, according to the most recent forecasts).

Prevention, a “poor relation”

The system obeys somewhat singular rules: integrated into Medicare, it ociates a body, called the AT-MP commission, in which sit union and employer representatives. It votes on the budget, formulates opinions on contribution rates, etc. As for the receipts, they mainly come from contributions paid by companies.

For years, the social partners have regretted being confined to a subordinate position within the system. They also deplore that the prevention “remains the poor relation”, the means allocated to this approaching 300 million euros per year, which is considered notoriously insufficient. Finally, the reparation measures in favor of the victims could be improved, in their view.

Read also: Article reserved for our subscribers Why employees do not declare their accidents at work

It is to remedy these “difficulties” that a negotiation was therefore opened, in July 2022. Initially, the protagonists aimed to conclude at the end of last year. But there has been a delay, in particular because of the pension reform. The government’s plan disrupted the discussions because it provides for a drain on the branch’s surpluses to finance actions aimed at preventing “professional wear and tear”. It is accompanied, moreover, by a reduction in the rate of contribution to compensate for the increase in contributions paid by companies to the Old-age insurance. What is more, the unions have often been monopolized by the mobilizations against the postponement to 64 years of the legal age of departure.

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