Put aside, like the pension reform, because of health priority and economic crisis, the unemployment insurance reform is being relaunched by the government. It arouses the unanimous rejection of the unions.
Labor Minister Elisabeth Borne unveiled on March 2, during a videoconference meeting with the social partners, the main measures of the unemployment insurance reform which should come into force in July in the form of a decree .
Developed in July 2019 by the government of Edouard Philippe after the failure of negotiations with unions and employers’ organizations, this reform aimed to achieve savings of 1 billion to 1.3 billion per year by tightening compensation rules. It also planned to impose, for the calculation of employer contributions, a “bonus-malus” on companies which too often use short contracts.
The new version maintains, by adjusting it, the principle of modifying the calculation of the daily reference wage (SJR, base of the allowance) and will come into force in July, when other measures benefit from a more flexible schedule. spread over time. Until 2017, this SJR was calculated by dividing the wages received by the only number of days worked (during the period preceding the claim for compensation). From now on, nonworking periods, up to a limit of 13 days, will be included in the calculation.
According to examples given by the Ministry of Labor and reported by AFP, a person paid at the minimum wage having worked eight months over the last 24 months, would have benefited from an allowance of 985 euros for eight months with the rules prior to the reform . She would now receive 667 euros paid for 14 months, and would have received only 389 euros, but paid 24 months with the version of the reform imagined in 2019.
Reduction of at least 20% in indemnities for 840,000 beneficiaries
Unédic, an organization run by the social partners and which manages compensation for job seekers, estimates that with this new calculation method, around 840,000 people (38% of beneficiaries) will have compensation that is more than 20% lower. % on average to what they earn with the current rules, even if the measure allows them to touch these reduced rights for longer.
On the other hand, the passage from four to six months of activity during the last 24 months to open rights has been postponed and will be done according to a “return to better fortune” clause assessed over six months from April 1: it There will have to be both a drop in the number of job seekers in category A of 130,000 over six months and 2.7 million hires over one month cumulatively over four months.
A measure establishing a 30% reduction in compensation for employees under 57 who received a salary exceeding 4,500 euros gross per month – or approximately 3,500 euros net – was also introduced. In the 2019 project, this measure, which mainly concerns executives, while the number of job offers concerning them has collapsed, was to take place from the seventh month. In the new version it will only intervene from the ninth month, until the return to the situation of “best fortune”.
Bonus Malus …my no troppo
Finally, the reform creates a “bonus-malus” on the unemployment insurance contribution paid by companies with more than 11 employees in seven sectors that are large consumers of precarious contracts (hotels and restaurants, agrifood, transport, etc.). For these companies, their “separation rate” will be calculated over a year, ie the number of contract terminations – CDI, CDD or interim – divided by their workforce. Depending on the comparison with the sector’s median rate, the following year the company will see its contribution vary between 3 and 5.05% of its payroll, against a rate of 4.05% today.
But this measure, which is based on an observation of the behavior of companies from July 1, will not be applied until September 2022, i.e. after the next presidential election.
This reform is first and foremost an opportunity to make significant budgetary savings at the sole expense of job seekers.
About this calendar effect for the only measure approved by the unions but fought by the MEDEF Denis Gravouil (CGT) quoted by AFP estimated that nobody believed “that it is something other than the communication”. The 5 central unions associated with the negotiations have already expressed in a rare unitary press release, dated February 23, 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” .
Both for the CGT and for the FO, the CFDT, the CFC-CGC and the CFTC: “This reform is first and foremost an opportunity to make significant budgetary savings at the sole expense of job seekers.”