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Employers and Unions Reach Agreement on Unemployment Compensation for 2024

The CFDT and the CFTC announced, Friday evening, their intention to sign a draft agreement defining the conditions of compensation for the unemployed from January 1, 2024

Employers and at least two unions found common ground on unemployment insurance on Friday, November 10, at the end of a difficult negotiation on compensation rules from January 2024. “An agreement has been reached”, welcomed Medef. Just before, the CFDT had announced a “positive review” of its delegation, which will still have to be approved by the national office of the organization. “We are ready to sign it, now it still needs to be approved” by the government, said the CFTC for its part.

Under the agreement reached, job seekers who register for the first time will be able to be compensated after five months of work in the last 24 months, instead of six months currently. “A concrete and fair measure”, for the CFDT. The bosses, who wanted to lower their unemployment insurance contributions from 4.05% to 3.95%, also accepted a reduction half as large, of 0.05%. The text also reduces the scope of the bonus-malus system, criticized by employers, a system which increases the contributions of bosses who use short contracts more than the average.

FO said it was awaiting the decision of its confederal office on Monday, while noting that “the red lines have fallen”. Two unions, the CGT and the CFE-CGC, have indicated that they will not be among the signatories. “For us the balance is not there”even if “the employers have withdrawn most of their provocations”, indicated the CGT. The CFE-CGC left the discussion table in the evening, denouncing the maintenance of the degression of benefits for high incomes, a red line for it.

An ultimatum set for November 15

The government will “to study” the compatibility of the agreement drawn up by the social partners with the objectives it had set for them in its framework letter, the Ministry of Labor announced. For Medef, the agreement reached is “perfectly compliant” to the framework document and results in a balance between new expenditure and revenue.

The government had given the social partners until November 15 to conclude. He would have regained control without this compromise found on the line. He had narrowly framed the debates, in a document sent at the beginning of August: no return on the 2019 reform, which notably tightened the conditions of access to unemployment compensation, nor on that of 2023, which modulates the conditions of unemployment insurance depending on the labor market situation and reduced the duration of compensation by 25%. Several negotiators, on the union side, complained of a form of “guardianship” and a “parasitage” of the government on the discussions.

2023-11-11 00:30:04
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