The use of the partial unemployment scheme had been requested on Friday March 27 by 220,000 companies for 2.2 million employees in total, announced the Minister of Labor, Muriel Pénicaud, on Sunday March 29 at the “Grand Jury RTL / Le Figaro / LCI” . “As of Friday evening, we had 220,000 companies who had asked for partial unemployment for all or part of their employees. This is 65,000 more than the day before,” said Ms. Pénicaud. The requests concerned “2.2 million workers” on Friday evening, “600,000 more” than Thursday, she added. “We are in the thousands of requests per minute,” she said. “The main areas” concerned are “industry, accommodation and catering, construction and the non-food trade”, as “garages, which are very affected at the moment,” said the minister.
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“The goal of partial unemployment, which we use massively, is to avoid layoffs. My first objective is to avoid layoffs”, in order to “avoid social breakage and also allow businesses , tomorrow, to leave with their skills, “she said. This device “fulfills its objective since we have very little increase for the moment – I hope it will last – unemployment”, with “20,000” jobless claims “more” during “the third week of March compared to last year, “said Muriel Pénicaud.
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In parallel, hirings fell “by 70%”, “except in certain sectors which are the manufacture of masks, agriculture”, she noted. “I repeat to companies: do not lay off, use short-time working. You will keep your skills and you will not put your employees out of work,” she insisted. Even for “one employee, partial unemployment works”. “All requests that have not been answered within 48 hours are deemed to have been acquired and we will carry out post checks”, after the health crisis, she recalled.