Small in size, but important in the questions it raises. The bill “on emergency measures in connection with the functioning of the labor market with a view to full employment”, whose consideration has already begun in the National Assembly, raises questions from both the labor market parties and parliamentarians. The reform aims in particular to extend the application of the rules for compensation of jobseekers established by decree in 2019, which expired on 1.eh November. It also paves the way for new settings. The management, which opens a sequence of consultations with the social partners, wants to speed up the return to employment and vary the compensation conditions according to the economic situation.
Important provision: the first article of the bill gives the government the role to again define by decree the measures for applying the unemployment insurance scheme until December 31, 2023. takes the keys to the truck, perhaps considering that the social partners have not managed Unédic well enough,” decrypts senator LR Frédérique Puissat, future rapporteur for the text in the Senate.
“It is a very strong action, which is marked in the bill”
Unédic is the association that has been in charge of the administration of the a-kassen since 1958. It is jointly managed by trade unions and employers’ organisations. This form of leadership is parity. Its place, in this context of a takeover of the government, could have led in the wing, as it is recognized in the half-word Patricia Ferrand, the president of Unédic, on September 28. “You are right that it is a very strong action that is marked in the bill”, declared this representative of the CFDT during his hearing of the Senate Affairs Committee. “The law delegates the negotiation of the social security fund rules to the social partners. The purpose of this bill is to completely suspend this delegation, it is indeed a very strong act. »
Its vice-president Jean-Eudes Tesson, representing Medef, currently prefers to keep reading a “purely technical provision”. »Does this foreshadow the management that the state wants for unemployment insurance and suspend the role of the social partners in the development of the rules? I haven’t answered. It is the future that will tell us what the original intentions were, ”reacted this entrepreneur.
However, the two sides of Unédic have acknowledged that there is a real issue at the moment on their missions and therefore their expenses. “We are in the middle of the ford. The desire of organizations today is to clarify each other’s responsibilities. The status quo is really not possible,” argues Patricia Ferrand. On the budgetary level, the president highlights in particular the 18 to 19 billion euros in debt that fall under the emergency measures decided by the state during the health crisis (especially partial activity), that is, almost a third of Unédic’s total debt. “We thought we would start discussions with the state to find out who will reimburse it,” insists Jean-Eudes Tesson.
In addition to the financing of most of the Pôle emploi, the attachment of new publics to the regime, such as prisoner workers, border workers or even the self-employed, also raises many questions for the social partners about the scope of their missions. “As they do not contribute, it raises a number of questions in a system that we, we, always want insurance. Those who contribute have rights. We have a limit which today encourages organizations to wish for a clarification of responsibility with the state”, points out Patricia Ferrand.
“The machine is on its way, so it will completely escape you”, warns a senator
To avoid spreading the idea of a “kitty” in the public debate, Jean-Eudes Tesson also refuses to talk about a surplus in Unédic’s 2022 accounts. This year, the balance of the plan should largely be in surplus, namely 2.5 billion euros. Cumulatively until 2024, the Unemployment Insurance even expects a total positive balance of around ten billion euros. “We will be in profit when our debt is negative”, wants to correct Medef’s representative, insisting once again on the weight of the Covid debt. “If we removed what is not specific to our missions, or expenses that do not have contributions as counterparties, Unédic’s finances would be significantly different. We would ask ourselves other questions,” he says. Asked about the interest in joint action, Patricia Ferrand wants to insist on good management of the plan. “During the recession, the scheme worked to pay out the benefits. »
For Senator (Centrist Union) Jean-Marie Vanlerenberghe, the issue of decision-making in this regime will be central during the consideration of the bill. “Unfortunately, unless there is a thorough review of governance, the common system will have lived […] These are substantive issues. If we don’t fix it with this law, we will never address them. The former chief rapporteur for the Social Committee recalled that the abolition of wage earner contributions to social security funds has already changed the complete nature of the scheme. “The machine is on its way, so it will completely escape! »
Vice-President Jean-Eudes Tesson acknowledges that the philosophy of the regime itself “has changed” and that the governance of Unédic has become a shared concern. “I think we are all aware, all the social partners, that there is something that can be played out at the moment. To reassure his audience, the number 2 of Unédic specified that the president of Medef, Geoffroy Roux de Bézieux, told him “to take this mandate to defend the common system within Unédic”. He repeated his request.