the Senate restricts the right to compensation

” First stage “ of the government to achieve full employment – 5% unemployment – by 2027, the bill paving the way for a reform of unemployment insurance was adopted by a show of hands at first reading in the Senate on Tuesday 25 October in the evening. In a Luxembourg Palace dominated by the right and the center, the text voted in the National Assembly on October 11 by the deputies of the presidential coalition and the Republicans (LR) was significantly toughened during its examination.

The initial objective of this short bill of five articles, presented as “technical” by the executive, is to allow the government to extend the current rules of compensation for the unemployed from 1er November until December 31, 2023 to allow time for future negotiation with the social partners on the governance of the scheme. The senators reduced this period to August 31, 2023, considering it “more proportionate and sufficient” for this negotiation.

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During the examination of the text in public session on Monday, the senators then confirmed the vote in 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 in the National Assembly, the Minister of Labour, Olivier Dussopt, had referred the subject to a future parliamentary working group, this time he clearly opposed, in vain, this provision, which, according to him, “poses a problem of principle”. He actually considers “there is no need to punish” an employee on fixed-term contract “who goes to the end of the commitment he signed (…) without failing in its commitment”.

“It’s a very different situation”, added the Minister, of that of job abandonment, which the Assembly has already hardened. If, currently, employees who leave their jobs without notice can benefit from unemployment benefits after having been dismissed by their employer, the deputies Together! (Renaissance, MoDem and Horizons) and LR have set up a “presumption of resignation”, thus preventing entitlement to benefits. A device confirmed by the senators.

“We have companies that are looking for employees”

However, elected LRs failed to toughen the text as much as they wanted. They did not manage to adopt a provision aimed at excluding unemployment insurance employees on fixed-term contracts from the first refusal of permanent contracts. “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 very well find a job., defended the author of the amendment, Senator LR of Haute-Loire Laurent Duplomb. But for Olivier Dussopt, “the labor code already provides that when the employer offers a permanent contract with the same conditions and the same remuneration and it is refused, there is the possibility of not paying the precariousness bonus, that is enough”.

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