Unemployment insurance: job abandonment in the crosshairs

Posted Sep 30, 2022, 6:57 PMUpdated on Sep 30, 2022 at 7:16 PM

After an express passage in the Social Affairs Committee, the examination of the bill paving the way for the reform of unemployment insurance begins this Monday evening in the Assembly, in public session. With the support of the right, the majority should have no trouble taking this second step, especially since it will defend an amendment tabled by LR to prevent employees who leave their jobs without a valid reason from receiving unemployment benefits.

If we are to believe business circles, relayed by elected Renaissance, LR or Modem, the number of cases is exploding. “We observe a real strategy on the part of certain employees […] to withdraw from the labor market while maintaining an income, ”said MP LR Thibault Bazin in committee. And too bad if neither Unédic nor Pôle emploi can confirm the extent of the phenomenon. Convinced, the Minister of Labor, Olivier Dussopt, was warmly applauded by the members of the U2P or the CPME by promising to align the conditions of compensation with those of the resigners who remain very limited.

No figures to measure the phenomenon

For the deputies of Nupes, all this is due to the stigmatization of employees who, de facto, are dismissed for serious misconduct. “The disciplinary sanction already exists”, for example recalled Hadrien Clouet for LFI. Even more critical, the elected RN Victor Catteau pointed behind these job abandonments to problems of “depression, harassment or destroyed backs” among workers pushed to such an extreme.

Lawyer (employer side) partner in the firm Melville, Pierre Warin recalls that job abandonment, which is not defined in the law, mainly concerns low-skilled jobs. The sanction is effectively dismissal for serious misconduct, within ten calendar days on average, without payment of compensation therefore but with the possibility of receiving unemployment benefits as for economic redundancy.

In terms of causes, “it is often because the employee is dissatisfied with his job or because he has an immediate professional opportunity or a personal or family emergency, more rarely in the event of refusal of a contractual termination by the employer “, he points.

“Important legal reversal”

If it goes to the end, LR’s amendment will create a “significant legal reversal”, analyzes Pierre Warin since any employee who does not return to work after formal notice – except in cases of health or safety – will be “presumed to have resigned”. . However, “in French law, resignation is not presumed”, which will not fail to raise the defenders of employees, even if the amendment offers the possibility of recourse to the Prud’hommes. The whole being returned to decree before the Council of State to determine the practical modalities.

Some employers find it useful

By blocking access to unemployment benefits, the advantage of leaving jobs will be de facto erased compared to resigning from Unédic. As the employee, being presumed to have resigned, he will be required to carry out his notice. “He could be ordered to pay the employer the compensatory indemnity (most often between 1 and 3 months’ salary) in the event of culpable non-performance of this notice”, recalls Pierre Warin for whom this project aligns the system from abandonment of post to that of resignation in all its aspects, under the control of the judge.

Still, if VSEs logically suffer from job abandonment, many larger companies benefit from it, since they do not have to pay severance pay, admits an employer official.

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