The government has just unveiled the main measures linked to the reform of unemployment insurance. While the unions continue to massively oppose it, certain decisions are already noted as delicate for precarious workers, but also seniors aged under 57. At the senior level, a bonus upon return to employment is also mentioned, but its contours remain unclear. What exactly is it about?

The unemployment insurance reform mainly concerns new job seekers. Indeed, according to the established rules, it will be necessary, from December 1, to have worked and contributed at least eight months, over a reference period of 20 months, to be compensated. The maximum duration of compensation will at the same time be reduced to 15 months for all new beneficiaries. The allowances will, for their part, be paid on an identical monthly basis and not according to the number of days included per month.

For seniors under 57, the compensation system will change. Only seniors over 57 will be able to benefit from a more favorable regime. The others will see their maximum compensation period aligned with the general compensation system and reduced to 15 months compared to the current 22.5 months. For older unemployed people, the reference period will be reduced from 36 to 30 months while the rights granted will be a maximum of 22.5 months compared to the current 27 months.

With this reform of unemployment insurance, there is also talk of a bonus upon return to employment. This concerns seniors over 57, who will now be able to combine part of their unemployment benefit with their new salary in the event that the latter is less well paid than their previous job.

Currently, as Capital specifies, all unemployed people can combine income from a new job with their unemployment benefit “provided that the total does not exceed a certain amount”. The government therefore wants the conditions for this combination to be more favorable for those over 57 to encourage seniors to return to work.

The ability to put seniors back at the heart of the job market is one of the government’s major challenges. Indeed, as Bertrand Martinot, an economist specializing in the issue of unemployment, explains, “seniors are not very competitive on the job market”. He emphasizes that “remuneration does not decrease after 55-57 years while among our European neighbors, salaries stagnate or even decrease”.

This bonus could come into effect from December 1, 2024 and would be financed by Unédic. For the moment, opinions on its effectiveness are rather favorable, even if “the accumulation mechanism with reduction has existed since the 1980s”. The rights maintenance system will be retained in the new version of unemployment insurance.