Unemployment insurance: towards rules that would evolve with the economic situation

Posted Jul 27, 2022, 6:56 PM

The timetable for the “labour reform” promised by Emmanuel Macron on July 14 is becoming clearer, at least for one of its subjects: unemployment insurance on which the Head of State has promised to “go more far “. There will be no text in the hemicycle at the Assembly in September, and for good reason, for the first time in twenty years, there will be no extraordinary session at the start of the school year. But in any case, the timetable would have been too tight in view of the commitment to change the method made by the Head of State who promised to involve the social partners more.

But the timing will still be tight since the reform of unemployment insurance could well be the first text on the agenda of the Assembly whose work in plenary session must restart on October 3.


The extension beyond October 31 of the current compensation rules set by the executive will be included in this text. But, warned this Wednesday the Minister of Labor, Olivier Dussopt, “it is necessary to go further”. “Our compensation rules must take into account the job market situation, as does, for example, Canada,” he explained in an interview with “Parisien”. “When things are going well, we tighten the rules and, when things are going badly, we relax them,” he said, announcing that he would address “this subject from the start of the school year with the social partners”.

This idea of ​​modulating the harshness of the unemployment benefit rules according to the labor market situation is a campaign promise from the Head of State. It is carried in particular by the economist Marc Ferracci, close to Emmanuel Macron and now a Renaissance deputy, and it has already experienced the beginning of implementation in the very specific context of Covid. The epidemic had led the government to suspend the entry into force of part of the more restrictive conditions for compensation decided in 2019. They concerned both the conditions for opening up rights to compensation and the rules for calculating compensation. ‘allocation.

Reforming will

To justify the maintenance of the reform while taking into account the consequences of the crisis, the government had decided to condition their entry into force on the return to better fortunes of the labor market. For this, it had set two criteria to be met: a total number of declarations prior to hiring for contracts of more than one month excluding temporary work exceeding 2,700,000 over a period of 4 consecutive months; a drop in the number of job seekers in category A of at least 130,000 over the last 6 months. The device had been concocted by the Minister of Labor at the time, who was none other than Elisabeth Borne.

The prospect of institutionalizing this logic will arouse strong opposition from the unions, but the latter do not approach the discussions in a favorable balance of power, even beyond the fact that the subject mobilizes little of the employees. Elisabeth Borne is indeed assured of finding support from the Republicans in the Assembly on such a device. And the revision of the unemployment insurance rules will be very useful to Emmanuel Macron as a symbol of his desire for reform, while his pension reform project appears otherwise more difficult to carry out.

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