Insurance against unemployment, the pitfalls of a negotiation

The employers 'and trade unions' organizations resume on Friday, November 9th, the negotiations on the rules on unemployment insurance. The government requires them to find between 3 and almost 4 billion euros of savings in the space of three years.

This is a trap-shaped negotiation awaiting the social partners, unemployment insurance managers, since Friday 9 November: "Or they can not find the savings that the government wants, and the government will regain control of unemployment insurance, or they will have to make unpopular decisions "Summarize a file that is very close.

The goal of this new round of negotiations was set by the government in the letter of framing issued at the end of September: find "Between 3 and 3.9 billion savings" in three years on unemployment insurance. The government wants to speed up the deleveraging of the regime, whose debt, dug by an exceptional crisis for ten years, has reached 35 billion euros. If deleveraging started, "We have to go faster, we are pleading with the Ministry of Labor, before being reached by the next cyclic cycle.

An uncertain result

If this savings target is not achieved, the planned agreement will not be approved by the Ministry of Labor, which will take over the reinsurance insurance and impose its choices … at risk of inflicting a fatal blow at one the last great bastions of paritarism.

Aware of what is at stake, the five representative employee unions and the three employer organizations have agreed to negotiate. But the outcome of the discussions is uncertain. "To find these savings, there are thirty-six ways, specify that near the file. Either we reduce the quantity of quotas or compensate for shorter durations or limit access conditions ". A perspective that rejects the unions. As for an increase in income – with an increase in contributions – it is excluded from the start by employers' and government organizations that do not wish to increase labor costs.

Increasingly reduced activity

Another plan is advanced by the Ministry of Labor: change the compensation rules, so that the unemployed are encouraged to resume employment with permanent contracts, especially in sectors that are struggling to hire today, rather than permanently alternating Temporary, temporary or part-time with compensated periods of unemployment. A growing percentage of beneficiaries – on average 1.6 million per month – is active in this situation of reduced activity and for longer and longer periods.

Should unemployment insurance save money?

But was this situation chosen or immediately? An investigation commissioned by Unédic, the organization that administers the plan, interviewed 5,000 applicants who have worked at least one hour in June 2018, providing information on this category of job seekers. The overwhelming majority of them have very limited knowledge of the compensation rules.

Difficult in these conditions to work " just what you need to recharge your unemployment rights and not be too loser from a financial point of view. "It's hard to optimize a rule you do not know", says a negotiator.

The desire to work more

Second observation: the overwhelming majority of them would prefer to work harder if they could: 68% of respondents who held a fixed-term contract or an interim engagement would have preferred to benefit from a permanent contract. Two thirds of the part-time beneficiaries would have also wanted to work harder.

The wish of "Keep free time for personal activities" or "To maintain a certain freedom towards his employer" one of the reasons for refusing a permanent contract. But they only concern a minority. "It is not by avoiding these behaviors that we will find 3 billion savings", concludes an expert. The problems of transport and childcare also seem to be important obstacles to returning to work.

The case of "applicants"

The government wants the social partners to take care of the particular case of people regularly re-employed by the same employer, for contracts of a few days, or even one day: these "Recurring", taken in a network of precariousness, would now be 400 000, concentrated in the hotel catering, medical-social housing or voting institutes sectors.

Unemployment slightly increasing in the third quarter

According to a recent Unédic study on societies, these people constitute a form of "Local pool" for time-sensitive employers who do not have a human resources policy and who do not anticipate their needs. "The causes are multiple, but there is a loss of collective control "Decrypts a negotiator: The way employers could be encouraged to find other ways to manage their workforce – bonus-malus or other devices – will be one of the most difficult negotiating points.

The reduction of unemployment will be slower

The European Commission intends to continue the decline in unemployment in France this year and next, "At a slower pace than in 2017". This is what appears in his autumn forecasts published Thursday, November 8th. The unemployment rate, which rose from 10.1% in 2016 to 9.4% last year, is expected to reach 9% on average this year, 8.8% in 2019 and l & # 39; # 8.4; 8.4% in 2020. This is' explains in particular the fact that "The effect of cuts in social security contributions should gradually vanish", says the Commission. In five years, from 2015 to 2020, unemployment should have been reduced by 2 percentage points.

Emmanuelle Réju

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