New labour law angers unions

Government hopes law will help ease jobless rate

In an attempt to help create new jobs, the French government introduced a law on Tuesday that makes it easier for small companies to layoff workers.

The law, one of six new labour laws introduced by French Prime Minister Dominique and his government before the summer break, was rushed through decree under the “emergency procedure” caveat that was introduced last month to allow the government to enact employment legislation without consulting lawmakers.

The new law, called the “New Recruit Contract” will allow companies with 20 or fewer employees to layoff workers anytime in their first two years of employment without cause.

The workers must be given at least two weeks notice and will still be entitled to unemployment benefits, but the employers won’t have to pay out the usual high level of severance.

France’s jobless rate fell in June for the first time in four years but is still at 10.1 per cent. The French employers’ group Medef has cited the heavy cost of cutting jobs in France as a deterrent against hiring.

Unions and opposition leaders said the new law won’t help create jobs and will in fact make the labour force more unstable.

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