Décision de justice

Unemployment insurance: new benefit calculation rules are not suspended

The Conseil d’État’s urgent applications judge, acting on a referral by several trade unions, did not suspend the decree setting the date for the entry into force of the new rules for calculating the allowance at 1 October. Since the suspension decided last June on the grounds that the labour market situation prevented the government from achieving its goal of reducing the use of short-term contracts, a favourable tendency has been observed for several months. Consequently, the overall labour market trend is no longer an obstacle to the implementation of the reform.

On 22 June, the Conseil d’État’s urgent applications judge suspended the application of the new rules for calculating unemployment benefit, which were to come into force on 1 July , without calling into question the principle of the reform. The judge considered that the labour market situation was too uncertain for an immediate application of these new rules, which were supposed to favour job stability by granting less compensation to employees who had alternated between short-term contracts and inactivity.

Following this decision, the government set the date for the entry into force of these rules at 1 October via a new decree issued on 29 September . Several trade unions have asked the interim relief judge of the Council of State to stay the execution of this decree.

A new date set after assessment of the situation

The urgent applications judge considered that the Prime Minister could legally decide to set a new date for the entry into force of the new calculation rules, after considering labour market developments inter alia. The date of 1 October was set following a one-quarter observation period introduced at the end of June, based on new economic indicators and labour market developments.

A more favourable labour market for the implementation of the reform

The urgent applications judge observed that the labour market and economic activity had improved significantly in recent months, and that this situation no longer prevented the reform from achieving the goal of reducing the use of short-term contracts. The urgent applications judge further noted that jobseekers benefit from extended support measures, in particular for those who are far from employment opportunities and those who wish to move into a permanent position.

Given the above, the urgent applications judge did not find that the challenge relating to the clear assessment error resulting from the choice of the date of 1 October for the implementation of the reform was well-founded and did not stay the execution of this new decree. The Conseil d’État will hear several appeals “on the merits” against this reform in coming weeks, following this emergency decision.