Examined at first reading at the Palais Bourbon, this text is then expected in the Senate, a priori in early October. It initially proposed to extend the experiment “zero long-term unemployed” to 30 new voluntary territories: municipalities or districts of 5,000 to 10,000 inhabitants. But deputies, including LREM rapporteur Marie-Christine Verdier-Jouclas, weighed in to go further, especially in a context of rising unemployment.
“Evaluation and optimization”
“50 new territories”, in addition to the 10 existing ones, “it is an appropriate number and duration because the time is now for evaluation and optimization”, estimated the Minister of Labor Élisabeth Borne at the ‘Assembly. On the left as well as on the right, several opposition parliamentarians, however, judged that the text “does not go far enough” and called, in vain, for “another threshold”, or even to remove any ceiling.
Supported initially by ATD Fourth World, then by the former PS MP Laurent Grandguillaume, this experiment is currently being carried out in ten territories, combining rural municipalities and districts of the city policy, from Colombelles (Calvados) to Villeurbanne (Rhône). The general philosophy is to assert that no one is unemployable and that by subsidizing the return to work, the state will save as much in social benefits and the indirect costs of unemployment.
In this way, 13 employment-oriented enterprises (EBE) were created, which hire, on the basis of a minimum wage on a CDI and without selection, people who have been deprived of employment for more than a year, for activities useful to the company but not supposed to compete with the private sector. The State contributes 18,000 euros per year per job, which corresponds to the savings expected for public finances (cessation of payment of RSA or unemployment benefits, etc.).
The remainder of the budget must come from growth in EBE turnover, grants or bank support. Since 2017, 1,112 people “have come out of job deprivation, either directly (770) or indirectly”, according to the LREM bill. New towns would like to try the experiment, such as Bordeaux, for the Grand Parc district, a social housing area hard hit by unemployment.
But the cost and targeting of the device are debated, most companies with employment goals remaining in deficit. In November 2019, a report from the General Inspectorate of Social Affairs and that of Finance stressed that the “EBE economic model is not stabilized” and that the target audiences are less distant from employment than expected, since some were already receiving income from work.
Five more years
The majority bill aims to extend the experiment for five years. It includes other measures to simplify integration through economic activity (IAE), in particular by abolishing compulsory approval from Pôle Emploi. The text also provides that integration companies can conclude “CDI inclusion” with employees over 57 years “encountering particular social and professional difficulties”.
With the support of the government, the deputies withdrew an article which made debate and suggested to test a new device, the “reinforced CDI”. They preferred to vote for a government amendment proposing the experimentation of a “bridge contract” to facilitate the recruitment in traditional companies of people at the end of the integration process.