Tax breaks for companies that keep older workers while hiring young ones will be discussed with union and business leaders in July and be ready for a parliament vote by year-end, Labor Minister Michel Sapin said.
French President Francois Hollande promised 500,000 so- called “generational contracts” during his campaign.
Sapin said details of the measures will decided during a “social conference” next month. He said they are intended to apply to workers under 25 and over 55, and would involve foregoing between 2 billion euros and 3 billion euros ($2.5 billion to $3.8 billion) of social charges a year. The cost would be covered by ending other tax breaks. The measures will be negotiated industry by industry, he said.
“If they are too rigid they won’t be applicable to all companies, and if too flexible they won’t be effective,” Sapin said after a visit with Hollande to the headquarters of Groupe Supratec, a closely held provider of industrial services, in suburban Paris. After the visit, Hollande said the labor situation in France is “worrying.”
The French Labor Ministry this week reported its 12th monthly rise in jobless claims. The number of people actively looking for work rose 4,300, or 0.1 percent, in April to 2,888,800.
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