Difficulty, work of seniors: the paths of government reform

Posted Oct 14, 2022 7:40 AM

The “Power point” has 26 pages. Its purpose: to serve as a basis for the first cycle of the consultation initiated since Tuesday with the social partners on the future pension reform, on which Elisabeth Borne launched a political consultation on Thursday. The paper copy of the projected slides is delivered by hand at each bilateral meeting.

It includes of course an inventory of the situation on the theme addressed during this first cycle supposed to end on November 6: the employment of seniors and “professional wear and tear”. But not only. The Ministry of Labor also outlines “avenues for reflection”.

Salary insurance for unemployed seniors

The first chapter is the most extensive but has a major absence: the reduction in the duration of compensation of 36 months currently for those aged 55 and over, mentioned this weekend by the Minister of Labor, Olivier Dussopt. And for good reason, according to a government source, the track is abandoned; which does not mean, however, that adjustments could not be made, for example the introduction of a degressivity.

The creation of what the document calls “salary insurance” for job seekers taking up a less paid position, also cited by the Minister of Labor, figures prominently in the document. A “targeted exemption” of contributions is also mentioned in this respect, but the subject is referred to the consultation on unemployment insurance which starts on Monday.

Two subjects are also mentioned which are particularly important to employers: the “pooling of the cost of occupational diseases” and retirement by the employer. The right to professional development advice around the age of 45 and strengthening of the rights to training for those over 50 are also included in the program.

Finally, concerning the employment of seniors, if Olivier Dussopt mentioned the idea of ​​constructing an index – which did not meet with great success with the social partners -, the document leaves the door open to other proposals on the topic.

“Work wear and tear” constitutes the second part of the first round of consultation, also addressed during bilateral interviews. It is less provided than the first. But it includes a small opening towards the unions on the arduousness account. Mention is made of the abolition of the ceiling for acquiring points, which notably determines the age of early departure, and the possibility of increasing them in the event of simultaneous exposure to several risks.

A right to conversion

But there is no question of reintegrating the risk factors removed on the arrival of Emmanuel Macron at the Elysée, such as the carrying of heavy loads, despite the requests of employee organizations. On the other hand, the hardship account would give access to a new right: that of retraining. The classic subject of the role that the branches could play in the prevention of occupational risks is also mentioned.

Finally, on “long careers”, an extremely sensitive subject for the unions, the Ministry of Labor is clearly well aware that it is walking on eggshells. All that is therefore mentioned, and at the very end of the document, is the need to “modernize” it, without further details.

The Ministry is more verbose on retirement for permanent incapacity, showing a clear desire to simplify and facilitate the procedure, in particular by removing the obligation to go through a disciplinary commission, and by systematically informing employees likely to benefit from it.

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