Labor Minister Muriel Pénicaud gave the results of the first checks to detect short-time work fraud, in an interview with Challenges magazine , published on Monday.
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"Since May 22, 12,000 (controls, editor's note) are in progress, including 400 triggered following reports from union organizations or employees. We are also carrying out random controls. To date, 3,000 files are closed", said Muriel Pénicaud. Out of these 3,000 files, "1,600 are completely correct", "around 600 have led to adjustments in favor or against the company" and "we have identified around 850 suspected fraud cases which led to further investigations ", detailed the minister.
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Four criminal proceedings for scam
"We have even initiated four criminal procedures for fraud," she added, citing, "in Hauts-de-France, a business owner who created five companies for 67 employees, but none of them is declared or paid social security contributions ". "The objective is to carry out 50,000 checks by the end of the summer," said the minister.
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Upon confinement and to compensate for the resulting cessation of activity, the government widened the possibility of resorting to partial unemployment in France. According to an estimate by the Ministry of Labor, 7.2 million French people were unemployed one or more days a week in March, 8.7 million in April and 7.8 million in May.
Up to two years' imprisonment and a fine of 30,000 euros
In mid-May, he announced a strengthening of controls, carried out by agents of the Direccte (regional directorates for enterprises, competition, consumption, labor and employment), which received the reinforcement of 300 agents on this theme, "supported by labor inspectors".
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In the event of fraud, the penalties range up to two years' imprisonment and a fine of 30,000 euros, and with regard to administrative penalties, provide for the reimbursement of aid and the exclusion of aid for up to 5 years .