The Senate tightens the text

As part of the consideration of the bill on unemployment insurance, the senators voted in particular, against the government’s statement, the exclusion of the provision of compensation for people who rejected three offers of CDI from a fixed-term contract.

The Senate with a right-wing majority on Tuesday, against the government’s advice, gave the screw to the unemployment insurance bill that was considered at the first reading, by voting the exclusion of the provision of compensation to people who refused three CDI offers at the end of a CDD.

Adopted on October 12 at the first reading of the National Assembly, this text initially plans to extend the current unemployment insurance rules, resulting from a controversial reform of the first five-year Macron term, which expires on November 1. It also triggers the possibility of modulating unemployment insurance according to the labor market by decree, Emmanuel Macron’s campaign promise.

The current system “remains built to respond to a concept of mass unemployment without being a sufficient incentive to return to employment”, declared the labor minister, Olivier Dussopt, stressing that “60% of companies are finding it difficult to recruit”. This modulation mechanism or “countercyclicality” is currently the subject of consultations between the government and the social partners, which “should last 6 to 8 weeks to be completed before the end of the year”, clarified Olivier Dussopt.

Return to “the true values ​​of work”

The rapporteurs Frédérique Puissat (LR) and Olivier Henno (Centrist) have, with the support of the minister, enshrined this graduation principle in full in the law. Olivier Dussopt, on the other hand, was unfavorable to another measure introduced in the committee, which stipulates that a job seeker who has rejected three CDI proposals at the end of a CDD cannot be eligible for unemployment insurance.

LR senators, including their leader Bruno Retailleau, failed to strengthen this provision in the half-cycle. An amendment to remove compensation on first refusal was rejected with extreme precision. Laurent Duplomb (LR) defended the goal of returning to “true values ​​of work”, Frédérique Puissat believed that “we cannot make life choices that are paid for by insurance systems”. “We just have to remove unemployment benefits”, allowed Monique Lubin (PS) to get carried away on the left and condemned “a shallot”. The Senate then passed another LR amendment aimed at excluding temporary workers from unemployment benefits who do not accept a CDI offered in the position they occupy in the interim.

As for the provision equating “abandonment of post” with a resignation, introduced in the Assembly by amendment of the President’s majority and the LRs, the senators specified the applicable procedure to “secure” it.

“Refusal of Solidarity”

The left wing is against a text that “stigmatizes job seekers and makes them look like profiteers”, according to Monique Lubin. The PS and Ecologiste groups contributed their votes to a procedural motion by the Communist CRCE majority group aimed at an outright rejection of the bill. It was nevertheless rejected by 252 votes to 92. Cathy Apourceau-Poly (CRCE) condemned “a denial of solidarity”. “Our chances of improving this text are almost zero,” Laurence Rossignol said, pointing to “many points of convergence” between the government and the senatorial right.

“To give the hand back to the social partners”, the senators rewrote the first article of the text, which allows for the extension – until 31 December 2023 at the latest – of the current rules for unemployment insurance. The deadline has been moved to 31 August. This period “should be used to initiate consultations with the aim of changing the management of unemployment insurance”, said Frédérique Puissat. “Without comprehensive and profound reforms, the common system will be dead,” warned centrist Jean-Marie Vanlerenberghe.

Contrary to the rewriting of the senators, the minister recalled that he had committed to start negotiations on governance. Another point that was addressed by the senators in the committee: the parameters of the bonus-malus, a device intended to limit short contracts. In particular, they excluded the purposes of temporary tasks from the system. Another part of the bill provides for facilitating the validation of acquired experience (VAE). Senators want to open it up even more. The Senate will continue the consideration of the articles in the evening. Once the text has been voted on in the Upper House at first reading, deputies and senators will try to agree on a joint version in a joint committee.

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