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Elderly unemployment: How do we get out of it?

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In the context of the low unemployment rate in France, people over 55 years of age face great difficulties in remaining employed. According to Apec representatives, age is a factor in employment discrimination. And the future does not look brighter with the reform of the pension system and the shift in the minimum retirement age, as well as the reform of unemployment insurance.

The impact of pension and unemployment insurance reforms on the elderly

The challenges facing the pension reform project, which is currently being discussed in the National Assembly, are increasing. Thus, the unions issued a new call for mobilization on March 7. The employment and unemployment of senior executives is one of the main concerns of opponents of the new provision due to the postponement of the legal retirement age to 64 (instead of the current 62) and the extension of the subscription period.

“Substantial economic and social risks” warns Laetitia Nyawodu, deputy director general of the Association of Executive Recruitment (Apec). Unable to retire, they remain unemployed until the age of 64.

While the national average unemployment rate has fallen to 7.3% of the active population in France, the unemployment rate for seniors is going in the opposite direction. According to the data provided by the association, “at the end of December 2022, those over 50 years of age accounted for 30% of those enrolled in categories A, B and C of the Pôle emploi”. The director adds that “of the 1.4 million seniors looking for work, 102,000 are CEOs over 55” and stresses that “chief executives have an unemployment rate of 6.8%, compared to 4.1% for the total number of CEOs.”

They are more likely to be long-term unemployed after losing their jobs. 10% of the 102,000 CEOs have been out of work for less than a year (long term) and 20% for more than a year (very long term). Among them, only 10,000 people (about 11%) receive an Active Solidarity Income (RSA), while the others receive a Specific Solidarity Allowance (ASS).

The unemployment insurance reform introduced by Employment Secretary Elisabeth Bourne in 2021 also penalizes senior executives registered with the Pôle emploi. The text specifically provides for a deduction of 30% from the seventh month of compensation for those who receive compensation in excess of 2,600 euros. And with the changes that took effect in 1any In February, adjusting benefits according to the unemployment rate causes additional damage.

Stubborn stereotypes that hinder seniors’ employment

Despite their efforts, seniors are, in most cases, rejected in favor of a more junior profile. Stereotypes die hard about them: more frequent health problems, difficulties in owning new technological tools and adapting to the digital economy, salary levels considered too high, conflicts with younger generations, skills that are not valued…

However, Apec asserts that “many older job seekers are working to qualify them for employment through apprenticeships, and are willing to compromise with respect to their level of responsibility, type of employment contract, number of hours, and compensation.”

Arguments that have yet to make their way to companies where, according to Apec, “age is the second factor of discrimination after gender.” “The situation is such that those involved themselves no longer bother to defend themselves,” laments Laetitia Nyaudu.

What are the measures to encourage the employment of the elderly?

In the text of the reform, the minister stressed the creation of a rating index for companies to force them to hire the elderly, with the risk of a financial fine. However, the MPs rejected the corresponding article on the evening of Tuesday 14 February.

Choose a pay transfer It is another way for seniors and retirees to stay active. Thanks to their experience and expertise, they can intervene with companies, administrations, societies, associations, etc. They can charge high fees that provide them with a comfortable income while enjoying the full social protections associated with their status as employees. In addition, they are completely independent in choosing their tasks and managing their time and workplace. To these assets are added the administrative management by the transport company, access to training, and the integration of a network of consultants, conducive to the development of its skills and the conquest of new clients.

For their part, the latter have access to good profiles to solve a specific problem without having to appoint them on fixed-term or permanent contracts, which increases their salary. This form of staffing is synonymous with greater efficiency, flexibility, cost control and speed compared to traditional staffing. In addition, they save themselves administrative obligations that are fully supported by the carrier.

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