The minister regrets the “failure in form”.

“This is unacceptable”, “it tastes very bad” : AFP and France Inter questioned the behavior of unions and governments. The Ministry of Labor, Olivier Dussopt, indeed sent the draft decree introducing unemployment insurance to the social partners on December 23, just before Christmas. The problem: the text quietly tightens the compensation rules compared to those presented on November 21. The draft decree has been sent to the State Council, which should consider it at the beginning of the year. We consider what the text is.

Surprise: up to 40% reduction in reimbursement time

As announced at the end of November, this text envisages three scenarios depending on the state of the labor market. The logic is that reducing the period of benefits when there are no takers would encourage the unemployed to take up employment.

With the current unemployment rate at 7.3%, the decree provides for a 25% reduction in the compensation period for all jobseekers who claim unemployment benefits in mainland France from February 1. So, if today an employee who has worked for ten months is given unemployment benefits for ten months, with the reform he will be given only seven and a half months. The floor will be protected for at least six months.

If the unemployment rate fell below 6%, the duration of compensation would be reduced by 40%, not 25%. This is the great novelty of this decree. However, the text applies from February 1 to December 31, 2023, during which time there is almost no chance of unemployment falling below 6%. This has not been the case in France since 1980. However, the government intends to reach full employment (around 5%) in 2027, in which case a 40% reduction (if still in place at that time) will apply. .

In addition, the executive counsel also admits that since the decree will only apply until December 31, 2023, this 40% reduction in the compensation period has almost no chance of being applied. “In any case, we do not fall below 6% in our forecasts. [de chômage] during the 11 months when the decree came into force”.

Instead, the draft decree says that when jobseekers reach the end of their entitlement, their Compensation period will return to today’s level if the unemployment rate rises above 9% during the quarter or increases by 0.8 points.

The minister regrets the “failure in form”.

Olivier Dussopt’s coverage notes that this is a 40% reduction “It was assumed and the social partners knew that we would introduce a new phase of ‘full employment'”. Unions actually expected a decline in the case of high employment levels, but not to this extent. “40% is too big! Frankly, it’s unacceptable. In the balance between the job seeker and the company looking for people, there are issues of specialization, geographic mobility”France Inter deplores François Hommeril, union CFE-CGC goes in direction of all unions of workers. “The government should consider that everyone who remains unemployed is partly their fault (…) all this is a lie”, François condemns Hommeril. “It’s pure infidelity,” CFDT’s Laurent Berger also said he condemned it “confused” to reveal this decree on December 23.

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Even if this is only a “trial balloon”, the executive will want to hit hard to encourage the unions to take a stand. They will give their opinion on this decree on January 10 through the National Commission for Collective Bargaining, Employment and Vocational Training (CNNCEFP). However, its opinion is purely advisory under the law

“About the activity of the labor market”, the government can decide on unemployment insurance rules by decree. But their opinion will certainly be used for the future, as unions and employers will have to negotiate new rules by January 1, 2024, AFP reports.

The government assumes: here’s the official version. However, one minister regretted the French Inter “form failure”. “It’s foolish to let the decree go without talking to the unions, or even Laurent Berger. In the context of the upcoming debate on pension reforms, it’s a shame to put it behind us, especially for something that won’t appeal,” he continues.

What does the decree confirm?

The text also confirms that certain populations were excluded from the reform, such as intermittent entertainment workers, fishermen or dock workers. The draft extended the “bonus-malus” system until August 2023 to encourage companies in certain sectors (accommodation and catering, transport, etc.) to extend contracts. It consists in modulating the unemployment insurance contribution according to companies’ recourse to indefinite contracts. And from September 1, 2023 to August 31, 2024, companies most affected by the health crisis will also be affected by the measure.

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