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The Senate passes a tougher bill

The Senate, with a right-wing majority on Tuesday, October 25, passed the first reading of the bill that paved the way for a possible graduation of unemployment insurance according to the economic situation, after tightening it with a measure that penalized repeated refusals of the CDI at the end of a CDD. Deputies and senators will now try to agree on a joint version in a joint committee. Planned over three days, the study of this text, carried out by the Minister of Labour, Olivier Dussopt, was completed in a single day.

This text initially plans to extend the current unemployment insurance rules, as a result of a controversial reform of the first five-year Macron term, which expires on January November. It also triggers the possibility of modulating unemployment insurance according to the labor market by decree, Emmanuel Macron’s campaign promise.

Also read: Article reserved for our subscribers “The reforms of the executive power aim to consolidate a break with the historical development of the French social system”

The current system “remains built to respond to a concept of mass unemployment without being a sufficient incentive to return to work”said the minister, pointing it out “60% of companies find it difficult to recruit”. This graduation mechanism is currently subject to consultation between the government and the social partners “expected to take six to eight weeks to complete by the end of the year”, said Mr. Dussopt. The rapporteurs Frédérique Puissat (Les Républicains, LR) and Olivier Henno (centrist) have, with the support of the minister, enshrined the principle of graduation in full in the law.

Temporary workers ordered to accept a CDI

The minister, however, was unfavorable to another measure introduced in the committee, which stipulates that a job seeker who has refused three CDI offers at the end of a CDD cannot be eligible for health insurance. LR senators, including their leader, Bruno Retailleau, have tried to tighten this provision in the half-cycle. An amendment to remove compensation on first refusal was rejected with extreme accuracy.

The Senate then passed another LR amendment aimed at excluding temporary workers from unemployment benefits who do not accept a CDI offered on the position they occupy as temporary.

Also read: Article reserved for our subscribers These employees who prefer CDD over CDI: “I want freedom and flexibility”

As for the assimilating provision “after abandonment” to a resignation, introduced in the National Assembly by amendment from the President’s majority and LR, the senators specified the applicable procedure to ” to ensure “.

The left is against the text, which “stigmatizes job seekers and makes them look like profiteers”, according to Monique Lubin (Socialist Party, PS). The socialists and ecologists brought their votes to a procedural motion by the Communist Republican Citizens and Ecologists Group (CRCE) aimed at rejecting the bill, a declaration which was rejected. “The employees lost a lot tonight”estimated Cathy Apourceau-Poly (CRCE).

Request for consultation of the social partners

“To give a hand back to the social partners”, the senators rewrote the first article of the text, which allows for an expansion of the current unemployment insurance rules. The deadline of 31 December 2023 has been moved to 31 August. This period “should be used to initiate consultations with the aim of changing the management of unemployment insurance”said Power. “Without comprehensive and profound reforms, jointism will be dead”, warned the centrist Jean-Marie Vanlerenberghe. Contrary to the rewriting of the senators, the minister recalled that he had committed to start negotiations on governance.

The senatorial court also changed the parameters of bonus-malus, a device intended to limit short contracts. For example, the completion of temporary tasks has been excluded from the system.

Another part of the bill allows for facilitating the validation of acquired experience. The senators also gave their approval to an experiment proposed by the government for “Reverse VAE”which would combine employment and education.

Also read: Article reserved for our subscribers Dominique Méda: “The executive has an outdated view of employment policy”

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