◆ Risk of seeing the emergence of more and more employees without employment contracts or even without social benefits.
◆ The financial difficulties of companies and the lack of visibility would favor the appeal to the self-employed.
By B. Chaou
The global economy is currently going through its worst recession and governments are struggling to react to limit the social and economic costs of the resulting jobs crisis. In Morocco, labor market indicators are all in the red.
The recent figures published by the High Commission for Planning (HCP) attest to this, with an increase in the number of unemployed by 368,000 people between the third quarter of 2019 and that of 2020, for a total which goes from 1,114,000 to 1,492,000 unemployed (+ 33%). As a result, the unemployment rate in Morocco is today around 12.7%.
This employment crisis is clearly felt by professionals in the labor market. “At the start of the crisis, we didn’t feel it right away because there was help. But as soon as these were withdrawn, companies began to initiate social plans and layoffs to reduce the workforce. Unfortunately, the HCP figures are there to confirm this finding. We also feel that there are more candidates available on the market ”, explains Naïm Bentaleb, co-founder and CEO of Xpertize Africa, a firm specializing in HR solutions.
It is indisputable that the measures taken so far by the authorities to enable companies to face this double economic and health crisis have not been able to preserve jobs. Which was predictable, especially in sectors that were completely at a standstill, such as tourism.
Risk to the quality of work
The strong waves of layoffs experienced by the national labor market, in addition to its various structural problems revealed by the crisis, do not bode well for the future of employability in Morocco. And this, insofar as the fears today do not concern only the destruction of the positions, but also the quality of work.
In other words, we could see the emergence of more and more employees without contracts or even without social benefits. “It’s still important to give people an employment contract, medical coverage and other social benefits. This is also how you develop your business … But indeed, there is a risk of a certain uberization of work in the sense that some companies would go more towards autoentrepreneurs and freelancers for example ”.
Precisely, most of them suffering from liquidity crises, and having no visibility on the economic future, several companies prefer not to recruit and use freelance services. This would be in favor of self-employed workers, but would deteriorate the quality of employment in Morocco. It thus becomes crucial to carry out adapted social policies in order to reduce the upsurge in unemployment, and to help people who have lost their jobs to reintegrate in good conditions.
This increase in the unemployment rate constitutes for the Kingdom a critical test to be faced in order to further improve the quality of employability, which would require a new legal framework more suited to the current context, promoting and supervising new practices such as part-time work, for example. As such, to boost employability, Bentaleb believes that“We would have to find ways to relaunch the public order. Perhaps via debt which would not only be used to cover State expenditure, but which would promote public investment for long-term and structuring projects ”.
“This should then encourage the State to call on national companies, especially those which would engage in a recruitment perspective. This must be based on confidence in Moroccan entrepreneurs and their ability to carry out a project. They are now well equipped for this and have the necessary means ”, he concludes.