“First fase” by the government to achieve full employment – 5% unemployment – by 2027, the bill paving the way for unemployment insurance reform was passed by a show of hands at first reading in the Senate on Tuesday 25 October evening. In a Luxembourg palace dominated by the right and center, the text voted in the National Assembly on October 11 by deputies from the presidential coalition and the Republicans (LR) was significantly tightened during the reading.
The original purpose of this short bill of five articles, presented as “technical” of the executive board, is to give the government the opportunity to extend the current rules for compensation for the unemployed from 1eh November to 31 December 2023 to allow time for future negotiations with the social partners on the management of the scheme. The senators reduced that period to August 31, 2023, considering that “more proportionate and adequate” for this negotiation.
During the review of the text at a public meeting on Monday, the senators then confirmed the vote in the committee on the abolition of the right to compensation for employees on fixed-term contracts who refuse three CDIs “at least equivalent remuneration” during the last twelve months. While Minister of Labor Olivier Dussopt had referred the subject to a future parliamentary working group in the National Assembly, this time he opposed this provision clearly in vain, which according to him i.a. “constitutes a fundamental problem”. He is actually considering “there is no need to punish” an employee on a fixed-term contract “who goes to the end of the obligation he signed (…) without failing his commitment”.
“It’s a very different situation”, the minister added, about the job cuts that the assembly has already hardened. If employees who currently leave their jobs without notice can receive unemployment benefits after being dismissed by their employer, the substitutes Sammen! (Renaissance, MoDem and Horizons) and LR have created one “presumption of resignation”, which prevents the right to benefits. A device confirmed by the senators.
“We have companies looking for employees”
But elected LRs failed to tighten the text as much as they wanted. They failed to pass a provision intended to exclude unemployment insurance workers on fixed-term contracts from first refusal of permanent employment. “We are 7% unemployed, we have companies looking for employees. We are not saying that the employee who refuses a CDI will end up with nothing, we are saying that he will not receive an allowance. But he can easily find a job., defended the author of the amendment, Senator LR from Haute-Loire Laurent Duplomb. But for Olivier Dussopt, “The Labor Act already stipulates that when the employer offers a permanent contract with the same conditions and the same remuneration, and it is rejected, there is an option not to pay the uncertainty bonus, that’s enough”.
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