France: start of new negotiations on unemployment insurance

A sensitive issue for the French government & nbsp ;: the reform of insurance ch? Ocme mage at the heart of a new series of negotiations. Unions and employers are early in the afternoon ...

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In France, unemployment rose by 0.4% in the third quarter of 2018. REUTERS / Christian Hartmann

A sensitive issue for the French government: the reform of unemployment insurance at the heart of a new round of negotiations. Unions and employers meet at the beginning of the afternoon Friday at Unedic headquarters in Paris, the National Union Interprofessional for Employment in Industry and Commerce, a public body that manages unemployment benefits. Negotiations based on a "scoping" document provided by the government in September are proving difficult.

The stated goal of the executive is to promote access and return to work, but also to reduce precariousness at work. The goal is to save up to € 3.9 billion over three years. And so reduce the debt of Unedic valued at 35 billion euros.

Several tracks are on the table to fight against precariousness, which weighs particularly on the finances of unemployment insurance:

First, the famous question of "permittence". Clearly, the alternation between employment and unemployment which concerns 800,000 people on average. The possibility of cumulating a salary and an unemployment allowance could be called into question.

The degression of benefits for those with high wages is also under study.

Finally, companies' excessive reliance on short contracts could give rise to a bonus-penalty. A threat that makes employers leap.

The unions, for their part, denounce a " strictly budgetary " vision of this reform. Be that as it may, the social partners have every interest in finding an agreement, otherwise the government will carry out the reform without them.