End of unemployment benefits: what open

Parliament is tightening the screw on access to unemployment benefits. As part of the bill on unemployment insurance, definitively adopted by the National Assembly and the Senate Thursday, November 17, parliamentarians have introduced several particularly strict provisions for employees. The text thus provides for not opening the right to unemployment benefits in the event ofabandonment of positionbut also in the event of refusal twice, during the last twelve months, of a proposal for a permanent contract by employees on fixed-term contracts or temporary workers.

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In the second case, certain protections are provided for employees and temporary workers. First, only are concerned by the end of the right to unemployment benefits the refusals of CDI offers aimed at “occupying the same job or a similar job, without changing the place of work”, specifies the bill. In the case of employees on fixed-term contracts, the CDI proposal must also provide for “at least equivalent remuneration for an equivalent working time”.

In addition, employers will have to notify each refusal of CDI to Pôle emploi. In this context, the draft law provides for a second protection: if the last CDI proposal sent to the job seeker does not comply with the criteria provided for in his “personalized plan for access to employment”, and therefore with the criteria of “reasonable job offers” defined with his Pôle Emploi agent, then the right to unemployment is maintained. But what is it exactly?

As provided by the labor Code, beyond carrying out “positive and repeated” job search actions, anyone registered with Pôle Emploi and immediately available to take up employment must define and regularly update, with their adviser, their personalized plan for access to employment. (PPAE), but also accept so-called “reasonable” job offers. In detail, “the PPAE traces the actions that you and your adviser agree to undertake to bring your job search or your professional project to a successful conclusion”, explains Pôle emploi on a page of his site dedicated to the rights and commitments of job seekers. In other words, job seekers must follow all the actions provided for by the PPAE which would allow them to find a job or, if they have the project, to create or take over a business.


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Six criteria for defining a “reasonable job offer”

This personalized plan for access to employment must therefore be defined jointly by the job seeker and a Pôle Emploi agent, but also be regularly updated. In this context, the job seeker and his adviser establish, among other things, the criteria for the job sought. The PPAE must specify the personal and family situation of the job seeker, as well as the situation of the local labor market, the nature and characteristics of the job or jobs sought, the geographical area of ​​search and the level expected salary.

It is these criteria which then make it possible to determine what constitutes a “reasonable job offer” for each job seeker. Six criteria are more accurately taken into account to establish a reasonable job offer, as Pôle Emploi points out on its website: the training, qualifications, knowledge and professional skills of the job seeker; his personal and family situation; the local labor market situation; the nature and characteristics of the job sought (permanent, fixed-term, full-time or part-time, etc.); the preferred geographical area; expected salary level.

In the event of refusal on two successive occasions and without legitimate reason of a reasonable job offer, you may be subject to a decision to be struck off the Pôle emploi lists, as well as a deletion from your unemployment benefit if you are compensated. It is therefore the same rule which is now provided for employees on fixed-term contracts or temporary workers, with a refusal of their opening of the right to unemployment benefits in the event of rejection twice of a proposal for a permanent contract.


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The geographical area of ​​employment is no longer a legitimate reason for refusal

However, as provided article L5411-6-4 of the labor code, three situations allow you not to accept, without risking the radiation, a reasonable job offer. And therefore a proposal for a permanent contract, in the case covered by the bill on unemployment insurance. The legitimate grounds for refusal are the following:

  • a salary level lower than the remuneration normally practiced in the region and for the profession concerned. It should also be noted that the salary of the proposed offer obviously cannot be lower than the legal and contractual provisions in force, and in particular the minimum wage;
  • a part-time job, when the personalized plan for access to employment provides that the jobs sought are full-time;
  • a job that is not compatible with the qualifications and professional skills of the job seeker.

This therefore means that even if the geographical area of ​​job search appears in the PPAE and among the criteria taken into account to establish the reasonable job offer, the travel time and the distance between the place of work and the residence of the jobseeker are not legitimate grounds for refusing a reasonable job offer. Previously, however, this criterion made it possible not to accept an offer without risking being struck off the Pôle Emploi lists. But since the entry into force of the law of September 5, 2018 “for the freedom to choose one’s professional future”, the definition of a reasonable job offer and the legitimate grounds for refusal have been restricted and the geographical criterion no longer allows a reasonable job offer to be rejected.

If you missed the debates in Parliament on restricted access to unemployment benefits, here are our previous articles which detail and decipher the various measures of the unemployment insurance bill:

End of unemployment benefits: what open-ended job offers can you still refuse?