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Home News Villepin tries out new jobs contract for seniors

Villepin tries out new jobs contract for seniors

Published on June 06, 2006

PARIS, June 6, 2006 (AFP) - French Prime Minister Dominique de Villepin unveiled proposals Tuesday aimed at boosting employment among older workers, notably via the creation of a new medium-term jobs contract.

Available to unemployed over 57 year-olds, the ‘Senior Fixed-Term Contract’ would last 18 months and be one-time renewable.

The government plan was unveiled two months after Villepin was forced to withdraw a proposed jobs contract for young people following a campaign of mass protests. The new proposals have the support of some — but not all — trade unions.

“We cannot accept the fact that some of our fellow citizens cannot find employment because of their age. Older people are an opportunity for our country,” Villepin told a meeting of government officials, academics, employers and unions.

The proposals were “proof that despite divergent points of view there is a real capacity for dialogue in our country,” the prime minister said.

However two large unions — CGT and FO — remain opposed to the measures, especially a provision to phase out a tax on companies that fire workers over 50 years old.

The government argues that the tax discourages firms from hiring such employees.

Other provisions — which are to be approved by the cabinet later this month before going before parliament — include financial incentives for people to keep working beyond their official retirement age.

The target is to increase employment among 55-64 year-olds from 37 percent at present to 50 percent in 2010.

Copyright AFP

Subject: French news