A third of the unemployed do not claim the aid to which they are entitled

About half a million unemployed people who are eligible for unemployment insurance would not use it, according to a government report sent Friday, September 30 to parliamentarians and according to which, if all non-claimants aged 25 to 59 claimed their rights, Pôle emploi would have to compensate 400,000 additional people.

In 2018, during the vote on the professional future law, the Communist deputies had indeed obtained that the government transmit to Parliament, within two years, an inventory of the non-use of unemployment insurance rights. It is this text which has just been sent to Parliament, two years late.

“I regret that it is so late and that we receive it in the middle of the discussion on the bill on unemployment insurance”, underlines the communist deputy Pierre Dharréville, who, last week, had precisely challenged the Minister of Labor, Olivier Dussopt, on the non-publication of the report.

More common for short contracts

It must be said that the study conducted by Dares, the very serious research and statistics service of the Ministry of Labor, takes quite strongly the opposite of one of the presuppositions of the latest unemployment insurance reforms: the allowances would create a windfall effect, the unemployed preferring to be compensated rather than to work.

“Between 25 and 42% of eligible employees do not use unemployment insurance (…)which represents over a year between 390,000 and 690,000 non-users”, notes on the contrary the Dares, which thus fixes around 30% the rate of non-recourse. A figure comparable to the non-use observed for the RSA (34%) or pensions (32%).

Above all, it would be among employees leaving short contracts that non-recourse is most frequent: 41% for permanent contracts and 36% for temporary work, whereas, for the purposes of fixed-term contracts, non-recourse is not observed than for 8% of conventional terminations and 9% of redundancies.

Ignorance of rights

“However, the 2019 reform, tightening the conditions for compensation, mainly affected short contracts, which, according to the government’s narrative, would benefit from the compensation”, emphasizes Pierre Dharréville, who recalls that less than one out of two jobseekers is already compensated.

To explain the non-use of unemployment benefit by job seekers who are nevertheless eligible, the Dares first underlines the ignorance of their rights by the unemployed, in particular those who have worked little. “Individuals who worked little before losing their job are also the most likely to be unaware or unsure of their eligibility, since they are closest to the eligibility threshold”, notes the report.

A service “unattractive in view of the associated costs”

It also notes a lower rate of non-recourse (21%) among employees who have already been compensated by unemployment insurance. “A learning effect, explains the Dares: knowledge of the steps to apply for one’s rights facilitates a new appeal. »

The report also notes a cost-benefit calculation that runs counter to the windfall effect. “The benefit may indeed seem unattractive given the costs associated with its application (fear of stigmatization, administrative procedures, checks, etc.), and all the more so if people anticipate a rapid return to employment. »

However, non-receivers can precisely hope to find a job more quickly: nearly a quarter of them work again in the month following the end of the contract, compared to only 15% of claimants.

Quick return to work

The report also explains that some non-users temporarily withdraw from the labor market, knowing precisely that they will be able to quickly find a job.

“This situation would concern people who lose their job involuntarily, have worked enough to be eligible, remain unemployed for several weeks or months without wishing to occupy one or trying to find one and find one very quickly once they seek, explains the Dares. They are thus non-recourse, but their non-recourse is potentially very short. » A last case that goes against the image of unemployed people who would voluntarily withdraw from the job market to live at the expense of the community.

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