Unemployment insurance: at least 25% of eligible employees do not use it, according to a report

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According to a study unveiled by Les Echos, at least 25% of eligible employees do not use unemployment insurance.

“Between 25% and 42%” of employees who could claim unemployment insurance do not use it, according to an official report, which notes that this proportion is “comparable” to that observed on other social benefits.

This report, consulted Monday, October 3 by AFP when the debates on the bill on unemployment insurance open in the Assembly, notes that its non-use “has been little studied”, and remains a phenomenon. “difficult to measure”. The study, unveiled by Les Echos, runs from November 2018 to October 2019, i.e. before the health crisis and the last unemployment insurance reform.

Between 25% and 42%

The authors point out that they have faced several difficulties, including the fact that the administrative data “do not make it possible to observe the condition of effective job search” or the fact that “about a third of people with an end of contract” are already covered by unemployment insurance due to their previous contracts.

They specify that “depending on the scope and the assumptions used, the estimate of the rate of non-use of people not registered with Pôle Emploi in the year following the end of their contract varies between 25% and 42%, which represents on one year between 390,000 and 690,000 non-users”.

30% of people aged 25 to 60

According to the central hypothesis of the report, “about 30% of people aged 25 to 60 who experience the end of their contract in the private sector without being registered beforehand with Pôle Emploi and who meet the eligibility criteria do not use the ‘unemployment insurance’.

The authors note that the non-use of unemployment insurance is thus “close” to that observed for other benefits, citing the rates of “34% for the RSA”, “32% for pensions”. The study also notes that employees who do not use unemployment insurance “are not very different” from those who do in terms of age, sex or socio-professional category.

On the other hand, three specificities are pointed out: employees on temporary contracts (temporary and fixed-term contracts) use “significantly less” unemployment insurance than employees at the end of their permanent contracts. Non-Applicants also worked shorter hours than Appellants, so their potential rights were “lower”. Finally, non-users find a job more quickly than users.

Lack of information and solicitation

Regarding the grounds for non-appeal, the document advances “two main families of explanation”: the “lack of information” and the “lack of solicitation”. In the first case, employees may have doubts about their eligibility. In the second, it may be an unfavorable cost/benefit trade-off: “fear of stigmatization, administrative procedures, checks, etc.”.

This report, produced by the Department of Statistics of the Ministry of Labor (Dares) with economists, had been provided for by the law on the “freedom to choose one’s professional future” of 2018 which provided that it be submitted to Parliament “in a two-year period”. Since then, elected officials had expressly requested its publication, like François Ruffin (LFI), who accused the government of “censoring” this document ahead of the presidential election.

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