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the Council of State validates the entry into force of the new calculation

A game won for the government in the long battle for the controversial unemployment insurance reform. The unions had filed a summary appeal to try to invalidate its entry into force, effective since 1er October. The Council of State rejected their appeal on Friday, October 22. It therefore validates the date of entry into force but will rule later on the substance, that is to say on the method of calculating the compensation – which the unions denounce as “Unfair” for job seekers.

The unions had urgently obtained, in June, the suspension of the contested new rules for calculating unemployment benefit, a flagship measure of the reform which was to come into force on 1er July, the Council of State arguing then “Uncertainties about the economic situation”. Without waiting for the decision of the highest court on the merits, the government had published a new decree, highlighting “The sharp rebound in employment since May” and allowing the entry into force of the reform in 1er October. The CFDT, CGT, FO, CFE-CGC and CFTC – which had abstained the previous time – had quickly indicated that they would attack the new text.

” The fight goes on “

In its decision issued on Friday, the Council of State observes “That the situation of the labor market and economic activity has improved significantly over the last few months, and that this situation therefore no longer prevents the reform from achieving the objective of reducing the recourse to short contracts “, taking up the government’s argument.

“This is an important reform which will encourage work at a time when our economy is picking up very strongly and when companies have massive recruitment needs”, commented immediately the Minister of Labor, Elisabeth Borne.

“The Council changes its mind (under pressure from the government?) (…). Allowances will go down in November. The fight continues to cancel this reform and for democracy! “, reacted on Twitter the CGT negotiator Denis Gravouil, other organizations such as UNSA or Solidaires also ensuring that they want to continue the battle.

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According to the executive, this is through these new rules to encourage job seekers to accept longer contracts, especially since employers will also be encouraged to offer them by setting up a “Bonus-malus” on unemployment contributions in seven sectors that consume a lot of short contracts.

“Social disaster announced”

Fiercely opposed from the start to the reform, the unions believe that the new method of calculating the daily reference wage (SJR), the basis of the allowance, will penalize job seekers alternating unemployment and activity, “The permittents”. “A large majority of jobs created today are contracts of less than a month”, reacted Yves Veyrier (FO), always “Determined to obtain the abandonment of the reform”.

In a joint press release, the CGT, FSU and Solidaires announced on Friday that they would file an appeal “Against the announced social catastrophe”. The three unions noted that the new decree is “The certified copy” from the previous one where “All the elements demonstrating the injustice and the futility of the reform were already registered”. They believed that the Council of State “Must not give in to government pressure”. The CFDT also filed its appeal on Friday, jointly with the CFTC, with arguments, in particular, “On the fragility of the economic recovery” and on the question of “Unequal treatment in the method of calculating the SJR”, according to number two of the CFDT, Marylise Léon.

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FO, who had filed his appeal on Thursday evening, has angles of attack that are “Exactly the same as last time”, declared Michel Beaugas, negotiator on unemployment insurance within the union. “We do not want the debate on the economic situation to obscure the fundamental debate on the unfairness of this reform, arguments that we were already developing in 2019”, when it was presented.

The government’s “contradictions”

The UNSA also filed on Thursday an appeal based, according to its Deputy Secretary General Vanessa Jereb, on the“Iniquity” of the daily reference wage, the “Contradictions” of the government in its presentation of the improvement of the economic situation and on “The goal” displayed to fight short contracts.

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According to an assessment by Unédic in April, up to 1.15 million people opening rights in the year following the entry into force of the reform would receive a lower monthly allowance (by 17% on average), with at the same time a “Theoretical duration of compensation” lengthened (fourteen months on average against eleven before the reform). The Ministry of Labor disputes this figure which, according to it, does not take into account the improvement in the economic situation or “Behavioral effects” hoped for reform.

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