Olivier Dussopt postpones compensation reform until later

The government and social partners have found a new theme of contention: the reform of compensation for work accidents and occupational diseases. Olivier Dussopt, the Minister of Labor, has just rejected the joint proposals submitted to him on this issue by the unions and employers, on the grounds that they present a “constitutional risk” and pose serious problems “in terms of operationality”. “Casualness”sighs Isabelle Mercier, national secretary of the CFDT. ” It’s discouraging “, adds Eric Chevée, vice-president of the Confederation of Small and Medium Enterprises. The overhaul of the system, which should have been approved by Parliament this fall, has been postponed indefinitely.

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At the heart of the dispute is article 39 of the Social Security financing bill (PLFSS) for 2024, which appeared in the initial version of the text. The purpose of this provision was to transpose into our legislative body the guidelines adopted by the unions and employers in a national agreement concluded on May 15. They had, among other things, asked those in power to take measures to counter certain effects of a new case law from the Court of Cassation, dated January 20, very favorable to victims of work accidents in the event of ” inexcusable mistake “ of the company and likely to lead to an increase in litigation. Increased judicialization that the social partners wanted to avoid.

In the PLFSS presented at the end of September to the Council of Ministers, article 39 was therefore supposed to put into music the will of the employee and employer organizations. But the unions considered that the government’s copy did not meet their expectations, in particular because it capped compensation in the event of ” inexcusable mistake “ of the company. A criticism also formulated by two other well-established actors: the National Association for the Defense of Asbestos Victims (Andeva) and the National Federation of Work Injured and Disabled Persons (Fnath). The employers, for their part, did not share these assessments.

“Analytical work”

Faced with such divergences, Mr. Dussopt decided, on October 18, to withdraw article 39 of the PLFSS while inviting the social partners to reopen discussions on this subject. Which they did almost immediately. After several meetings, the representatives of workers and business leaders managed to agree, on November 13, on a rewriting of article 39, the aim being that it be reintroduced into the PLFSS currently being examined. in Parliament. This new version plans to refer the question of compensation for inexcusable fault to “analytical work [qui] must be engaged” by the commission for accidents at work and occupational diseases in which employees’ and employers’ organizations sit.

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