the executive will tighten the rules to achieve 3.6 billion euros in savings per year

The contours of the unemployment insurance reform are becoming clearer. On Wednesday May 22, the Minister of Labor, Catherine Vautrin, initiated a series of meetings with union and employer officials to present the avenues favored by the executive. She told them that the copy could still evolve following these exchanges, the final decisions having to be made public on Sunday by Gabriel Attal, the head of government. But the social partners believe that the mass has been said.

A decree, planned to come into force staggered between 1er July and 1er December, will be taken to tighten the rules applicable to job seekers. These changes should allow the creation of 90,000 positions. They would also ultimately generate 3.6 billion euros in savings per year – or a little more than 10% of the total amount of allowances paid in 2023. An amount “monstrous”according to Marylise Léon, the general secretary of the CFDT. “This is the worst reform in the entire history of the regime”adds Denis Gravouil, confederal secretary of the CGT.

The scenarios revealed Wednesday by Mme Vautrin began to leak the day before into The echoes before being almost completely revealed by The Parisianwhile the Minister of Labor had completed only one interview out of the nine scheduled with representatives of employees and business leaders (three of them to take place on Thursday and another on June 5).

Expand the “bonus-malus” for businesses

Mme Vautrin confirmed to his interlocutors that the government wants to make the conditions for granting rights more stringent. The solution that holds the rope would be to lengthen the “affiliation period” as follows: from now on, you would have to have worked eight months over the last twenty to obtain a benefit, compared to six over the last twenty-four months currently (thirty-six for people aged at least 53). A change in parameter which would primarily affect young people and the most precarious (temporary workers, seasonal workers, employees on short contracts).

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Another very important orientation: the “countercyclicality” mechanism, created by a law of December 2022, should be supplemented. It has the effect of introducing more severe rules when the economic situation is good and of relaxing them when activity deteriorates. Such a system has already shortened the duration of compensation by 25%, as long as the unemployment rate is below 9% – which is currently the case, since it is rises to 7.5%. In the future, a new threshold could be established, with an additional reduction in the duration of compensation if the unemployment rate falls below 6.5%: in this configuration, the reduction would be 40%, which would result in approximately fourteen and a half months of unemployment insurance rights (compared to eighteen today and twenty-four before the entry into force of the law of December 2022, with regard to people under 53 years).

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