June 07, 2017
A majority for Macron's labour reforms?
The French government laid out its road map for labour reform: a rough version of the bill will be presented by the government on June 28 before seeking authorisation from parliament to kick-start the process, with a vote envisaged in September. As promised on the campaign trail, Macron’s government would use so-called ordinances, executive decrees that shorten the debate in both houses, after consultations with the unions. If Macron were to win his absolute majority in the legislative elections, as the polls predict, he surely would have no trouble getting this through parliament. Street protests might be the only opposition left.
The road map was presented to trade unions yesterday. In the document labour minister Muriel Penicaud talks about focusing more on contractual work relationships at the enterprise and branch level, reducing the number of worker representation councils by merging at least three of them, and capping the damages to be paid for wrongful dismissals - a contentious issue with the labour unions. She also promised to pay more attention to small and medium enterprises, as the current labour law was written for large enterprises. Also the document already flags a reform to include independents into the unemployment insurance scheme starting in the summer 2018, as well as the gradual abolition of the employee contributions for health insurance and unemployment insurance as of January 1. There will be two consultation periods with trade unions, one in June/July and the second in September.