The reform of unemployment benefits was initiated in the ‘Law for the Freedom to choose a Professional Future’ of 5 September 2018, which resulted in two decrees:
Presented by the government as a reform ‘for employment, against unemployment and against insecurity’ the main objectives are as follows:
The first measures resulting from the reform of unemployment insurance, which were widely reported and commented on in the press and on social networks, came into force on 1 November.
Resigning individuals covered by the measures
Among the measures that have been widely discussed is the extension of unemployment insurance benefits to employees who have resigned. However, this measure is reserved for employees who meet the following cumulative conditions:
A ‘real and serious’ project
This professional project must be of a real and serious nature, as certified by a regional Committee (‘CPIR’).
The request for the CPIR to approve the ‘real and serious’ nature of the professional project:
The content of the request and the list of supporting documents to be sent by the employee are specified in a decree and include a presentation of the training programme, schedule and related costs as well as the justification that the applicant has the necessary levels of knowledge, know-how and experience to follow the training course.
The CPIR will assess the project with regard notably to the consistency and adequacy of the project in respect of the characteristics of the contemplated job or contemplated business, the envisaged training course, the financing needs and the employment or business perspectives.
The texts do not specify the period within which the CPIR can then notify the employee concerned of its reasoned decision, but the employee can, in any event, lodge an ex gratia appeal against the commission’s decision within two months of notification.
Once the project has been approved by the CPIR, the worker must request the unemployment allowances within six months.
Finally, although resigning employees who qualify for unemployment insurance benefits will be exempted from the obligation to seek employment, their continued compensation will nevertheless be conditional on the implementation of their professional project. A check on the reality of the actions taken for the implementation of the project will be carried out at the latest within six months of the individual obtaining the right to compensation and could lead to termination of payment of the allowance.
As a result, the number of beneficiaries of this new measure is likely, in practice, to be relatively limited.