While the deputies are preparing a vote on a bill that tightens the rules for the social security fund, the government is considering new measures regarding the operation of the system. In an interview at Sunday newspaper (JDD) of 9 October, the Minister of Labour, Olivier Dussopt, calls out several avenues whose aim is to keep workers aged around sixty in activity. One of the hypotheses being investigated could consist in reducing the duration of compensation for unemployed seniors, which is currently being extended.
Sir. Dussopt made these remarks just before the opening of the first “hearing cycle” about the pension reform. From Tuesday, the Ministry of Labor will receive trade union and employer representatives to work with “employment of seniors and prevention of occupational wear and tear”. A big problem in France, as the proportion of 60-64-year-olds with a job is low: 32.7% in 2019 compared to 70% in Sweden and 61.8% in Germany.
“Our poor results can be explained by several reasons”entrusts Mr. Dussopt to JDD. The minister cites in particular “devices that may be perceived as encouraging employers to separate themselves from seniors”. That is the case, ” e.g “the maximum duration of unemployment benefits, which from the age of 55 increases to thirty-six months against thirty months for persons aged 53 and 54 and twenty-four months for the others. “Although it is legitimate to have specific rules, this perspective can be seen as a way to differentiate”, he notes. Implicitly, Mr. Dussopt thus suggests that it could be relevant to put an end to the disparaging system that the oldest jobseekers benefit from.
“The method is wrong”
Other possibilities are put forward, especially the possibility of “a senior who accepts a lower-paying job in order to keep part of his unemployment benefit to compensate for lost earnings” compared to its previous activity. The minister mentions another incentive, this time intended for the bosses: the “exemptions from social contributions” to employ women and men at the end of their careers.
In Mr. Dussopt’s office, it is said that the discussions about compensation for people who are at least 55 years old “is not stipulated in advance in the Unemployment Insurance Act”. This text, which in particular sets stricter rules for employees who leave their positions, must be adopted on Tuesday 11 October at the first reading in the National Assembly.
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