From now on, it will not be more advantageous to separate amicably from an employee who cannot retire, than from another who has contributed all his quarters.
The subject is technical but symbolic of the absurdities that French labor law sometimes engenders. From September 1, taxation will be the same for all conventional terminations, whereas until now it favored amicable separations for employees who have not yet contributed all their quarters to retire. “The purpose of this development is to remedy an aberration of the system which favors conventional terminations before retirement“, explains Bertrand Martinot, economist member of the Institut Montaigne and labor specialist. “We see that there is a peak two to three years before the legal age of departure“, he adds, the maximum period during which seniors can receive unemployment benefit.
The system was therefore both costly for Pôle emploi, which saw the number of beneficiaries swell for the wrong reasons, for the employment of seniors and therefore for public finances deprived of contributions. In concrete terms, the employer was taxed on contractual termination indemnities up to 20% for employees who could not retire against 50% for those who had contributed enough. From now on, a rate of 30% will be imposed on everyone.
The bosses are standing up
While no one disputes the need to standardize practices, this reform is “very unwelcome“On the side of employers, underlines Éric Chevée, vice-president of the confederation of small and medium-sized enterprises (CPME). “There were two ways to align: bottom and top. The second option was chosen“, he laments. “This will increase the cost of contractual termination while it is a tool for social peace“, argues the one who is also a business manager. According to him, the file should have been handled by the social partners themselves, rather than by the State and with an accounting vision.
The financial weight of this reform is put into perspective by Maître Sabrina Kemel, lawyer at FTMS, “this increase in the ceiling should not change much for employers, with the exception of employees who are of retirement age. At the time of the implementation of 20% of the voices were heard, but ultimately that did not stop the appetite for these solutions, at least for large companies“, she points.
In addition, it should not be believed that this measure alone can have a significant impact on the employment of seniors. “The duration of compensation for unemployed seniors remains the real important point“, according to Bertrand Martinot. And to recall what has already been done to encourage this age group to continue looking for work. “Over the past 15 years there has been a continuity of public policies on the subject. Since 2009 and the requirement for unemployed over 55s to actively seek employment. By moving to successive postponements of the age at which senior job seekers can benefit from a maximum duration of compensation of three years and until the reduction of this duration from 36 to 27 months this year “.
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