what the new reform can change for jobseekers

A more flexible compensation system when the economic situation is difficult, and stricter when things are going well on the labor market: the government wants in the coming months, adapt the rules for unemployment insurance according to the economic situation. The new reform of the unemployment fund, which the trade unions do not want, must be presented to the Council of Ministers on Wednesday. But initially the bill aims to expand the current social security fund rules, i.a. as a result of an already controversial reform in 2019,
which expires on 31 October. Then several major changes could see the light of day.

What are the current compensation rules?

With the current rules, all employees are theoretically insured against the risk of unemploymentbut all job seekers will not be compensated. For example, some have not worked enough to get a subsidy. According to data from Unédic, there were 6.5 million people registered with the Pôle emploi in December 2021, but only 2.6 million, or 40% of them, were compensated. The organization that administers the social security fund predicts that they will be 2.4 million by the end of this year.

With the latest reform, since 1 October 2021
, the calculation of the daily reference wage, the basis for daily allowance, has been changed. It takes into account both working days and non-working days in the 24 months preceding unemployment with a floor that guarantees a minimum benefit. A rule that penalizes jobseekers for alternating unemployment and activity. The allowance was previously calculated by dividing the income by the working days in the reference period.

To open rights it is also necessary, since December 1 has worked six months (ie 130 working days or 910 hours) over the past 24 months (36 months for those over 53). Previously you had to have worked for 4 months.

Another aspect of the reform, for unemployed people under 57 who have earned more than 4,500 euros gross per month, applies to a 30% reduction in unemployment benefit from the 7th month.

Amount, duration, criteria: what can change?

The management therefore wishes to modulate the terms of the unemployment insurance according to the situation on the labor market, like what is done in Canada, for example. Unemployment insurance would be, in the words of Emmanuel Macron, “stricter when too many jobs are unfilled, more generous when unemployment is high”. Labor Minister Olivier Dussopt summarized: “When things go well, we tighten the rules, and when things go bad, we relax them”.

Three parameters can thus potentially shift : the amount of the compensation, the eligibility criteria and the duration of the compensation. But Olivier Dussopt thinks exclude a gradation of the amount of compensation : “We can act on the maximum duration of compensation, the conditions for being eligible for compensation, but not on the amount of compensation”he continued France info c

Upward or downward trend of the unemployment rate could then determine the number of months of work required to access compensation, or the duration of compensation. For Marc Ferracci, the representative of the Renaissance and one of the initiators of the previous reform, “Eligibility produces the fastest results in terms of employment”. “If we only play over time, the effects will be delayed, but we must have quick results”, he explained to AFP.

Medef is in favor of graduation, the unions are against

For MP Marc Ferracci, “dozens of studies show that unemployment insurance rules, including duration and eligibility thresholds, have an effect on employment levels”, especially for the most independent unemployed in their search. Medef is also in favor of changing the rules compensation depending on the situation.

But for the unions all against the principle self modulation, recruitment difficulties are primarily linked to education and the attractiveness of the occupations, including pay, working conditions and mobility.

The current employment problem and recruitment problems will not find an effective solution with a reform that further reduces the rights of the unemployed – Marylise Leon, CFDT

Meeting on Monday at the CFDT headquarters, the unions have agreed on their opposition to negotiating such a measure. For Marylise Léon, from CFDT, “the current problem of employment and recruitment difficulties will not find an effective solution with a reform which further reduces the rights of the unemployed”. “We would like to negotiate a new unemployment insurance agreement, but on the condition that we get control”adds Michel Beaugas, from FO, to AFP.

If the social partners cannot reach an agreement, the government alone will define the rules by decree. He wants implementation before the end of the year, said the labor minister.

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