Should fixed-term contracts be banned in France?

As of March, there are no fixed-term contracts in Spain. Finally, it is not complete: it is a disappearing type of basic fixed-term contract intended for the performance of work or the provision of one-time services. Iberian companies still have two opportunities to use short-term contracts: the first to replace an employee for a maximum period of three months, and the second, in case of exceptional circumstances such as an unexpected increase in activity, for six periods in twelve months. . In addition, all employees must be employed on a permanent contract basis. As a result, permanent contracts have increased by nearly 6% since the review of fixed-term contracts to reach 780,000 permanent contracts!

Should France follow its neighbor and cancel all or part of its fixed-term contracts with a stroke of the legislative pen? The great Pascal wrote: “Truth under the Pyrenees, error beyond.” What is reliable for a particular labor market cannot necessarily be exported. The youth unemployment rate in France is less alarming than that of our southern neighbor, with the unemployment rate falling slightly to 7.4% of the active population according to INSEE and the number of fixed-term contracts remaining stable at 12%. employment population compared to 25% in pre-reform Spain. The fact is that 87% of recruitment is still done on fixed-term contracts.


Can an employer multiple fixed-term contracts for the same person?

Testing the candidate’s skills, meeting the peak of activity (85% of fixed-term contracts last less than a month), fear of commitment by companies: the application of short-term contracts is increasing. Thus, since the 2000s, the spread of ideas about the abolition of fixed-term contracts in favor of the creation of a single contract.

At least a dozen reports report findings: on the one hand, overprotected workers – permanent contracts; on the other hand, workers substitute precarious jobs with little protection and periods of unemployment. A gap between the two, security. Since the 2000s, the single contract has sought to combine the best of both worlds: a little more security for workers, a little more flexibility for companies. “The idea failed because French society is retreating with four irons. Work-at-home culture tends to see employment as a rare, reserved thing. We cannot recruit and poach easily,” comments Lucien Flament, lawyer at Valmy Avocats.


Consecutive term contracts: waiting period and exceptions

Another reason for its failure is that “the only contract is the Spanish hotel (sic), Gilbert This, a professor of economics at the Neoma Business School, points out that it is poorly defined by its promoters. Although many economists and politicians have declared their support for it, social law lawyers have shown the greatest reservations about its inaccuracy.

Untouchable, then CDD? “In his presence, certainly, yes. There are enough differences between CDI and CDD that each meets very specific needs”, answers Lucien Flament. Like many observers, Gilbert Cette believes that ultimately the issue is not the abolition or lack of status of the CDD, but its evolution. However, “in the rapidly changing labor market, the correspondence of work statuses to the reality of the labor market is not always smoothly implemented,” explains the teacher.


Refusal of duty, refusal of CDI… What will change the law on unemployment insurance adopted by the Parliament

It is clear that in some cases companies prefer to increase the number of fixed-term contracts rather than hiring on permanent contracts. Especially when it comes to short-term contracts of less than a month, which have “increased by 250% in ten years”, lamented the then Labor Minister Elizabeth Bourne in May 2021.

A problem that the government is trying to respond to by creating a bonus-malus system, a key measure of the unemployment insurance reform sought by Emmanuel Macron. Since September, nearly 18,000 companies in sectors eager for short-term contracts have received the unemployment contribution rate of new hires.

Simply put, abusers pay a penalty (up to 5.05% vs. 4.05% normally) and good students benefit from a bonus with reduced contributions of up to 3%. . It is up to them to calculate the threshold of not crossing in order to remain financially successful. “Another possible development in the event of a temporary increase in activity could be to set a maximum percentage of the employment of employees on fixed-term contracts according to the total workforce of the company.”


CDD “too much change”: will the experiment start again soon?

However, today’s labor market reveals another reality: an increasing number of workers move from CDD to CDD during the year without even dreaming about CDI. A growing trend amid the pandemic. According to INSEE, while 73.7% of those employed in 2021 were permanent contracts or civil servants, many of them wanted flexibility, developing personal projects or changing companies regularly.

Should fixed-term contracts be removed from the labor map? “Even though I’m quite positive about it personally, it seems to me that it’s not the point anymore,” smiles Bertrand Moine, co-founder of Digital Village, a freelancer collective that bills its services for the Mission. The war for talent has been going on for two years and is growing in areas of activity such as technology. The balance of power is in favor of workers who are no longer afraid to quit. The question that arises is not about status or employment, but about the price companies are willing to pay to attract talent.

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Individual talent management, integrated HR software publisher PeopleSpheres does this every day. The platform chose a radical solution for itself: “We hire all our employees on permanent contracts, except for two or three-term contracts, explains Philippe Bloquet, founder and manager of the company with a hundred employees. We want to keep employees where CDI remains a reassuring focal point and a key tool of the life project.

Obviously, the CDI Grail allows you to predict the future, especially for real estate. So, in this company that doubles its workforce every two years, CDD naturally disappeared. But CDI’s trial period is defined as four months from the beginning, plus three optional months. Too bad if new hires quit after a few months to apply their talents elsewhere!

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