Saturday, 22 January, 2022

Unemployment insurance: the pressure from the unions on the government and employers


One week before a decisive meeting with the Minister of Labor, Elisabeth Borne, the CFDT, FO, the CGT, the CFE-CGC, and the CFTC reaffirm in unison their opposition to the changes in the reform envisaged, except on the introduction of a bonus-malus on employer unemployment contributions, criticized by employers. They are asking for an overhaul of the compensation system.

The CFDT, CFE-CGC, CFTC, CGT and FO reaffirmed on Tuesday their

“I think that employers ‘and unions’ organizations can see that they have been listened to, and that their remarks have been taken into account”… Interviewed Tuesday morning on Europe 1, Elisabeth Borne showed great confidence in her ability to push through, after many postponements, the reform of unemployment insurance. A reform that the Minister of Labor still considers ” necessary “, even if it means postponing its application, taking into account the evolution of the job market.

Method Coué at a week of a meeting supposed to be decisive? This looks like it in view of the still resolute oppositions of those concerned, as evidenced by the unanimous position on Tuesday of the CFDT, FO, CGT, CFE-CGC and CFTC.

In a joint press release (this is not so often), the five confederations representing employees reaffirm their “Deep disagreement with the founding principle of this reform according to which the reduction in unemployment benefits would encourage a more rapid return to employment”.

This reform, carried out without an impact study, they add, is “First of all, the opportunity to make significant budgetary savings at the sole expense of job seekers”. And to plead in the current context of crisis for a ” overhaul “ unemployment insurance to improve the rights of the unemployed.

Three out of four

Of the four major evolutions envisaged, three are rejected as a whole. First, the number of months needed to receive unemployment benefit or recharge your rights. “The lowering of the thresholds for opening rights must benefit everyone”, remind the unions, targeting young people in particular.

The modification, second, of the rule for calculating the daily reference wage (the SJR from which the amount of the monthly allowance is deducted) does not find favor in their eyes even though it constitutes for the government the answer to the one of the two objectives of the reform, namely that the benefit is the same regardless of how the unemployed person has worked. This rule must continue “To issue compensation as close as possible to the lost salary, identical for people who have lost the same salary with equivalent working time”, plead the unions, which suggests, however, that they are ready to make some adjustments to the current formula, which stems from the previous reform of 2017.

Ineffective and unfair

Latest evolution of the criticized reform: the degression of allowances for the highest salaries. Judged “Ineffective”, it must be abandoned, as shown in the 2001 precedent because it “Encourages people to accept less qualified jobs, in contrast to the objective of a general increase in qualifications”. There is also a lawsuit for injustice because the degression sanctions the people who have the most difficulty in finding a job. Clearly, seniors.

Read also:

The number of conventional ruptures fell in 2020

Employers and unions ready to give new impetus to social dialogue

Elisabeth Borne can on the other hand count on the five confederations to defend the last divisive measure of the reform, the modulation of employer unemployment contributions in the form of bonus-malus. For the government, this bonus-malus, which will cause a company to contribute more or less depending on whether it uses more or less short-term employment contracts, is supposed to meet the other objective of the reform: to fight against job insecurity.

The bosses behind the scenes

“Limiting the use of very short contracts is imperative, while professional trajectories are increasingly heterogeneous, generating precarious situations for people on fixed-term contracts or forced part-time work, the vast majority for women in the latter case “, insist the unions.

Faced with this barrage, the employers’ camp prefers to stand behind the scenes, to try to slow down the introduction of this bonus-malus, without much success at this stage. And for good reason: the measure refers to a promise of Emmanuel Macron’s campaign. What is more, its introduction would balance the reform potion between measures concerning the unemployed and those concerning businesses.

But one thing is certain, the reform will not apply on April 1, as envisaged until then after already two postponements. Rather, it will come into force at best in the summer, time to publish the decrees.

One week before a decisive meeting with the Minister of Labor, Elisabeth Borne, the CFDT, FO, the CGT, the CFE-CGC, and the CFTC reaffirm in unison their opposition to the changes in the reform envisaged, except on the introduction of a bonus-malus on employer unemployment contributions, criticized by employers. They are asking for an overhaul of the compensation system.

The CFDT, CFE-CGC, CFTC, CGT and FO reaffirmed on Tuesday their

“I think that employers ‘and unions’ organizations can see that they have been listened to, and that their remarks have been taken into account”… Interviewed Tuesday morning on Europe 1, Elisabeth Borne showed great confidence in her ability to push through, after many postponements, the reform of unemployment insurance. A reform that the Minister of Labor still considers ” necessary “, even if it means postponing its application, taking into account the evolution of the job market.

Method Coué at a week of a meeting supposed to be decisive? This looks like it in view of the still resolute oppositions of those concerned, as evidenced by the unanimous position on Tuesday of the CFDT, FO, CGT, CFE-CGC and CFTC.

In a joint press release (this is not so often), the five confederations representing employees reaffirm their “Deep disagreement with the founding principle of this reform according to which the reduction in unemployment benefits would encourage a more rapid return to employment”.

This reform, carried out without an impact study, they add, is “First of all, the opportunity to make significant budgetary savings at the sole expense of job seekers”. And to plead in the current context of crisis for a ” overhaul “ unemployment insurance to improve the rights of the unemployed.

Three out of four

Of the four major evolutions envisaged, three are rejected as a whole. First, the number of months needed to receive unemployment benefit or recharge your rights. “The lowering of the thresholds for opening rights must benefit everyone”, remind the unions, targeting young people in particular.

The modification, second, of the rule for calculating the daily reference wage (the SJR from which the amount of the monthly allowance is deducted) does not find favor in their eyes even though it constitutes for the government the answer to the one of the two objectives of the reform, namely that the benefit is the same regardless of how the unemployed person has worked. This rule must continue “To issue compensation as close as possible to the lost salary, identical for people who have lost the same salary with equivalent working time”, plead the unions, which suggests, however, that they are ready to make some adjustments to the current formula, which stems from the previous reform of 2017.

Ineffective and unfair

Latest evolution of the criticized reform: the degression of allowances for the highest salaries. Judged “Ineffective”, it must be abandoned, as shown in the 2001 precedent because it “Encourages people to accept less qualified jobs, in contrast to the objective of a general increase in qualifications”. There is also a lawsuit for injustice because the degression sanctions the people who have the most difficulty in finding a job. Clearly, seniors.

Read also:

The number of conventional ruptures fell in 2020

Employers and unions ready to give new impetus to social dialogue

Elisabeth Borne can on the other hand count on the five confederations to defend the last divisive measure of the reform, the modulation of employer unemployment contributions in the form of bonus-malus. For the government, this bonus-malus, which will cause a company to contribute more or less depending on whether it uses more or less short-term employment contracts, is supposed to meet the other objective of the reform: to fight against job insecurity.

The bosses behind the scenes

“Limiting the use of very short contracts is imperative, while professional trajectories are increasingly heterogeneous, generating precarious situations for people on fixed-term contracts or forced part-time work, the vast majority for women in the latter case “, insist the unions.

Faced with this barrage, the employers’ camp prefers to stand behind the scenes, to try to slow down the introduction of this bonus-malus, without much success at this stage. And for good reason: the measure refers to a promise of Emmanuel Macron’s campaign. What is more, its introduction would balance the reform potion between measures concerning the unemployed and those concerning businesses.

But one thing is certain, the reform will not apply on April 1, as envisaged until then after already two postponements. Rather, it will come into force at best in the summer, time to publish the decrees.