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the government will adapt the reform to the cancellation of measures by the Council of State

The government has just suffered a bitter setback before the highest administrative court. Seized by four unions (CFE-CGC, CGT, FO, Solidaires) and by several employers’ organizations, the Council of State canceled, Wednesday, November 25, two emblematic provisions of the reform of unemployment insurance, place in 2019. The decision concerns measures whose entry into force had been postponed by the executive because of the crisis. It therefore has no impact on the current situation of beneficiaries of the compensation scheme and of companies.

The judgment rendered Wednesday by the Council of State concerns one of the most criticized social reforms of Emmanuel Macron’s five-year term. Taken through a decree of July 26, 2019, it seeks, in particular, to encourage job seekers to return to stable work by discouraging back and forth between short contracts and periods of compensated unemployment. Another objective: to achieve savings, initially estimated at between 3 and 3.9 billion euros over three years.

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With this in mind, the government has changed the – terribly complex – calculation methods of the allowance, which is set on the basis of a reference daily wage (SJR). Before the reform, the SJR was determined by dividing the remuneration received during a given period by the number of days worked. The decree of July of 2019 changed this formula: days not worked were also taken into account, which had the effect of increasing the divisor and, as a consequence, lowering the RLS.

The potential consequences of these adjustments are devastating for some job seekers: some 840,000 people – a little over a third of “Incoming” in the scheme – would see their monthly allowance drop, by 24% on average, while being entitled to longer compensation periods, according to an impact study released in early November by Unédic, the joint association which steers the scheme. unemployment insurance. The first calculations carried out in 2019 led to similar findings. This is also one of the main reasons why the unions opposed the project.

In its decision on Thursday, the Council of State considered that these new rules “Violate the principle of equality”. The amount of SJR “Can now, for the same number of working hours, vary from simple to quadruple”, raise the judges. In some cases, this results in “A manifestly disproportionate difference in treatment with regard to the ground of general interest pursued”, adds the high court, which therefore retoked the incriminated provision.

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