Unemployment benefits: what could change

Posted on September 23, 2022 at 12:13Updated September 23, 2022 12:52 pm

Unemployment Insurance Season II. After having created new rights for the self-employed and employed workers who resign to retrain and reformed the compensation conditions for job seekers so that “no one earns more from unemployment than working”, the executive wants to go further so that the unemployment insurance plan “combines protection and incentive to return to work”. “Not one or the other, but both”, insists the Labor Minister, Olivier Dussopt.

The idea now is that the compensation rules are more modulated according to the economic situation. “When things go well, we tighten the rules and, when things go wrong, we relax them,” the minister explained.

Olivier Dussopt, Minister of Labour, Full Employment and Integration.

Olivier Dussopt, Minister of Labour, Full Employment and Integration.Jacques Witt/SIPA

The starting signal for this new reform was given on September 7, 2022 with the presentation to the Council of Ministers of the draft law “On emergency measures concerning the functioning of the labor market with a view to full employment”.

This text, paradoxically, initially aims to be able to extend the current unemployment insurance rules until the end of 2023. Decided in 2019 but only implemented in 2021 due to the Covid-19 pandemic, they expire on November 1 and “have not yet produced all its effects,” according to the executive.

More than the content of this bill, the debate refers to the sequence that it sets in motion, because the government has launched a parallel consultation – and not a negotiation – with the social partners on this question ofa modulation of unemployment insurance. “It’s an exchange, it’s a discussion, they are proposals, counterproposals (…) and in the end the government makes the decisions it must take” by decree, explained Olivier Dussopt.

L’objectif est d’aboutir à des critères – le taux de chômage par exemple -, dont l’évolution à la hausse ou à la baisse pourrait determinate the name of mois de travail requis pour accéder à l’compensation ou encore la durée de is. The executive, who wants to go fast, wants implementation before the end of 2022.

In the longer term, the government intends to open another project on the governance of Unédic, in relation to the reform of the RSA support and the creation of France Travail, which should succeed Pôle emploi and better coordinate the actors involved. in employment. .

Why modulate unemployment benefits?

ALLILI MOURAD/SIPA

The executive believes that the unemployment insurance system “performs its function imperfectly.” “When unemployment was above 10%, 55% of job seekers were entitled to compensation, while this percentage rose to 61% at the end of 2019 with an unemployment rate of 8%”, details the invoice presentation file . And to continue: “It is the opposite that should be privileged: when there are fewer jobs, the rules need to become more protective and when there are more jobs they should be more encouraging. »

The Executive insists that there is urgency before the recruitment difficulties and makes this reform one of the conditions for reaching the goal of full employment set by Emmanuel Macron during the presidential campaign (an unemployment rate of around 5% compared to the current 7.4%) in 2027. This reform is called for by business organizations, the CPME considers it “urgent” because some companies must, due to lack of personnel, “renounce contracts or reduce their activity”.

According to the economist and deputy Marc Ferracci (Renaissance), one of the promoters of the 2019 reform, quoted by AFP, “dozens of studies prove that the rules of unemployment insurance, in particular the duration and eligibility thresholds, have a effect on the level of employment”, especially for the most autonomous unemployed in their search.

False, reply the trade unions for whom recruitment difficulties are mainly linked to training and the attractiveness of the professions (wages, working conditions, mobility, etc.). In a joint text published on September 11, 13 union and student organizations denounced an “inefficient” and “unfair” project. They consider that the executive would do better to work on the “priority issues” of employment and training, integrating the multiple impacts of the ecological transition. They evoke working conditions, of which the summer heat wave showed how much they can deteriorate, or even “support for the transformation of trades to face environmental challenges”.

What could change:

ROMUALD MEIGNEUX/SIPA

The executive wishes to modulate the conditions of unemployment insurance according to the situation of the labor market, as is done for example in Canada, but without copying this model at the regional level. Therefore, three parameters can potentially change: compensation amount, eligibility criteria, duration of compensation.

Olivier Dussopt ruled out the reduction in the amount of the monthly payment, because “there would be a form of contradiction” while “we are in a period of defense of purchasing power.”

” Can act on the maximum duration of compensationthat today is 24 months, we can act on the conditions to be eligible. Today you must have worked 6 months of the last 24 (…). Will it be 7 or 8 months or will it be 6 months out of 18 instead of 24? He asked himself.

It also remains to be seen what criteria to use agree that the labor market is buoyant or that it is changing. For this, the unemployment rate measured by INSEE in the sense of the ILO, is one of the favorites.

One thing is certain, the changes that the government wants to introduce will have to be simple so that Pôle emploi can quickly update its compensation software.

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