DOCUMENT. If it does not formally proposed a wage freeze or a questioning of the 35 hours, the report argues tracks of explosive reforms.
Although angry words as “wage freeze” or “relaxation of 35 hours” are never written black on white, Pisani-Enderlein report, jointly commissioned by the German Minister of the Economy Sigmar Gabriel and the French Minister Emmanuel Macron, may make noise.
In their clear analysis of the French situation, the two economists responsible for this work, Jean Pisani-Ferry Henrik Enderlein French side and the German side, describing the structural reforms needed in the country.
Loosen the 35-hour …
If the magnitude of those conducted so far by François Hollande is recognized, the method of multiplying the small steps, it is criticized. “Partial reforms are struggling to provide the predictability needed to economic agents […], it is difficult for actors […] to get an idea of the new rules, their future reorientation […] this reduces all effectiveness. ”
To reform faster, the two center-left economists suggest to focus now on three major projects. First, the reform of the labor market to finally adopt the famous model of “flexicurity”, combining flexibility for employers and safety courses for the employee. They therefore propose to extend the logic of maintaining employment agreements that allow since 2013 to companies in difficulty to negotiate both working time and wages. These agreements would become not only “defensive” but “offensive.” That is to let the social partners to negotiate their working time in each company provided to conclude a majority agreement, guidance advocated for by Emmanuel Macron since arriving at Bercy. That’s the internal flexibility to the business.
… And CDI
But Pisani-Enderlein also want to introduce external flexibility “by making the costs and dismissal times more predictable.” In exchange, the CDI would become more “attractive” for employers that CDD without the terms of this rebalancing are specified. A track already mentioned elsewhere might be to increase employer costs on CSD.
Employees must become more mobile thanks to the portability of their social rights and recognition of their skills. This requires a new reform of the vocational training to improve the quality of training and availability for low-skilled workers. A new unemployment insurance reform is encouraged to incite effective job search, especially for skilled employees who tend to use their rights to compensation before returning really looking for a job.
Prevent wages to rise too quickly
The two economists do not stop there. According to them, a branch of the agreements could take precedence over the law, “including where such agreements are not beneficial for employees.” The authors also propose to reduce the number of branches, currently over 700, as a prerequisite for such a reform. The government has already launched the latter site. Employers are finally asked to accept as part of the ongoing negotiations on the social levels, better representation of employees in SMEs, which should be accompanied by a rationalization of representation structures (EC, DP, HSC. ..) .dropoff window
The second set of reforms on the competitiveness of enterprises. This chapter is no less explosive than the first since it states that “the real wage growth remained relatively strong despite the high level of unemployment and growing,” which increased the cost of labor.
“In a situation where firms in the sector exposed to international competition saw their profitability decline, the strong signal should be given that measures are taken to ensure that real wages are increasing at a faster pace than productivity work. ” The authors explicitly recommending to draw on the wage moderation in the 1980s, known as the period of “competitive disinflation”.
Reviewing the minimum wage indexation rules
To achieve this, they propose to try to lower the cost of housing by releasing land in densely populated areas, stimulate competition in services to lower their cost to other businesses. But they also recommend to extend to three years the period beyond which a collective wage bargaining is mandatory in every company, against a year now. If this is not a wage freeze for three years as announced in Der Spiegel, it looks like a way to do this. Emmanuel Macron has also immediately announced at a press conference after the presentation of the report on Thursday that he would not take this proposal.
Nor does it change the indexation rules the minimum wage, yet considered too favorable to its increase in the report. Both economists wanted the minimum wage benefit depends on the overall development of the productivity of the economy and inflation. Indeed, “partial indexation of the minimum wage on average wages […] retroactive to turn on wages” and causes their increase, regret the two experts. An analysis Emmanuel Macron sharing “academically” but he can not resume because the rule has been revised with the arrival of Francois Hollande as president.
In the longer term, the authors propose a convergence of French and German minimum wage. “This is a good agenda for 10 years,” said the French minister. This means that France will give more weight to the minimum wage in the branches at the expense of his uniform minimum wage set at national level.
The third major package of measures concerning the reform of the State. If it sets an ambitious goal of reducing costs, this chapter remains vague. He only structural reforms of public action.