French parliament approvesgovernment's jobs plans

13th July 2005, Comments 0 comments

PARIS, July 12 (AFP) - The French parliament gave final approval Tuesday to the plan by Prime Minister Dominique de Villepin to tackle chronically high unemployment.

PARIS, July 12 (AFP) - The French parliament gave final approval Tuesday to the plan by Prime Minister Dominique de Villepin to tackle chronically high unemployment.

The Senate approved the legislation, which has already been adopted by the National Assembly, that gives the government authority to change regulations to introduce a new sort of labour contract that would give small businesses more flexibility.

Villepin, who was appointed in a government reshuffle following voters' rejection of the EU constitution in a referendum held May 29, introduced the legislation last month to tackle the high unemployment and economic stagnation that fuelled French opposition to the treaty.

Unemployment currently stands at over 10 percent of the work force.

The new labour contract was designed to loosen France's rigid labour market in which employers prefer to offer short-term contracts and suffer high staff turnover rather than give permanent contracts under which it is extremely difficult to fire workers.

Under the new contract, applicable only to companies employing less than 20 people, a worker would be subject to a trial period of two years during which employment can be terminated under simplified procedures.

The plan also includes other measures to ease the burden on small companies who take on additional employees, particularly the long-term unemployed and youths, which suffer disproportionately from unemployment.

Copyright AFP

Subject: French news

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