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Covid-19: France's partial unemployment scheme extended

Companies covered by a scheme for long-term partial unemployment benefits will have access to it for up to two years. Some companies not covered will have access to it until November 1.

27 August 2020
A woman in a white shirt typing on a lap top. French partial unemployment benefits have been extended. The benefits scheme allows companies to reduce employees’ salaries by up to 40%, with the difference made up by the State.
By Joanna York

French Prime Minister Jean Castex announced the extension yesterday (August 26), specifying that it would be available for up to two years for companies covered by an agreement that makes them eligible for the activité partielle de longue durée (APLD) scheme.

Companies that are not covered, but have been especially impacted by the Covid-19 crisis, will have access until the end of the year, the Prime Minister confirmed. At this point, provision will be reassessed. 

He said such companies could include those in: “Sectors such as sport, tourism and events, which will retain access until the end of the year even without coverage.”

The APLD scheme aims to save jobs by preventing economic redundancies as a result of the Covid-19 crisis. It allows companies to reduce employees’ hours and salaries by up to 40%. The State then steps in to make up the difference, ensuring that employees still receive a full salary each month.

In July there were around 2.4 million employees on partial unemployment benefits in France, two million fewer than in June according to Dares, the statistics service for the French Ministry for Work.

In June, 4.5 million people claimed partial unemployment, compared with 7.9 million in May, 8.8 million in April, and 7.2 million in March.

In July, 120,000 people in France were on partial unemployment either because they were in a vulnerable situation or because they were looking after children, compared with 720,000 in June.

Despite the overall reduction in claimants, numbers in July were particularly high in the construction, commerce, transport and storage, hospitality, scientific and technical sectors, according to Dares. 

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