The first social reform of Emmanuel Macron’s second five-year term and the first step in the government’s roadmap towards full employment, the unemployment insurance bill was passed at first reading on Tuesday 11 October by the National Assembly with 303 votes in favour, 249 against and 11 abstentions. A vote in which the majority deputies – Renaissance, MoDem, Horizons – received support from the elected officials of the Les Républicains (LR) party. The support of the right-wing deputies was hardly in doubt, since the amendment they had put forward on the subject of job cuts had been adopted on Wednesday 5 October during the reading of the text in the meeting. A short text of five articles presented as technical, but not devoid of strong political significance, given the changes it will bring.
Extension of compensation rules
The primary purpose of this bill was to allow the government to extend by decree the unemployment benefit rules resulting from the 2019 reform until 31 December 2023. These, which were only applied from 2021 due to the Covid-19 crisis, expired on October 31 Without this decree, jobseekers would therefore have been left without compensation on 1eh November.
Modulation according to economic conditions
By passing this bill, the deputies give the government the opportunity to issue another decree to change the compensation rules again. Measure announced by Emmanuel Macron during his interview on July 14, the modulation of benefits must be in place at the beginning of 2023. With this system, the compensation for the unemployed will develop in accordance with the economic situation. “When things are going very well, the rules should be encouraging, and when things aren’t going well, they should be more protective”repeated several times since September the Minister of Labour, Olivier Dussopt.
If the indicators of the health of the labor market (unemployment rate, number of vacant job offers compared to the number of unemployed) and the parameters of the modulation have not yet been determined, Mr. Dussopt nevertheless specified the contours. It is thus excluded from affecting the amount of the compensations but “On the other hand, one may wonder about the conditions for entering the scheme – six months of work out of 24 today – and about the duration of the compensation”he told Sunday newspaper, October 9. This scope will form the framework for the consultation of the social partners, which was due to start in the week of October 17, when it was promised in mid-September. A delay in the ignition, which is mainly explained by considerations linked to a possible territorialization of the graduation for the overseas territories, where unemployment can be twice as great as in mainland France.
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