"It is estimated that more than half of seasonal workers leave the sector from one year to the next", immediately alerted the Ministries of Labor and the Economy. For the professionals concerned, the question of recruitment and attractiveness has long been a major subject. But since the end of the Covid crisis and the strengthening of tensions in the labor market, the seers have suddenly turned scarlet. “In 2022, hiring of seasonal workers fell by 30%. Out of 150,000 positions, half could not be filled,” added the side of the two ministries, which were therefore responsible for finding solutions.
At the end of the day, the development of a “seasonal plan” for tourism, the main lines of which are unveiled this Wednesday, May 31 by Olivier Dussopt, Minister of Labor, and Olivia Grégoire, the Minister Delegate for Trade and Tourism, during a trip to the Landes. Spread over three years (2023-2025), it contains three major areas: support, training and housing.
Among the key measures, the government wants to lengthen the “pools” of unemployed people who are available and able to fill these jobs. To do this, short training courses, "between 35 and 150 hours", will be widely offered to job seekers. Another objective is the fight against unemployment in the off-season. To do this, the executive wants to generalize contacts with seasonal workers before the end of their contract to offer them solutions. Partnerships with other sectors with a contrary cyclicality, such as fast food, are thus envisaged, as is a better training offer.
But it is on the issue of housing that the expectations of the various players seem to be the most important. However, the responses provided risk being insufficient to combat shortages and high rents. A platform to identify available public, social and associative housing is thus under study. Problem, these types of accommodation represent a drop in the bucket (a few thousand in all) compared to the needs. Another avenue is to make free student and university accommodation available. But apart from the fact that the number concerned also remains low, the decision is up to the regions, owners of the walls. Finally, their location is rarely in the same place as seasonal employment pools. Last point, the State will also extend the tax benefit for owners renting to seasonal workers. Nevertheless, no study on the effectiveness, nor any quantification of the cost seems to have been carried out.
Unsurprisingly, among employee representatives, the reception of this plan is icy. “As usual the government responds beside the plate”, tackle Antoine Fatiga, in charge of the file at the CGT. The latter asked instead to reconsider the previous reform of unemployment insurance which increased from four to six months the working time necessary to receive compensation. “Such long seasons are very rare”, we argue on the side of the union. An option swept away by the ministries. Another preferred track: the automatic renewal of contracts from one year to the next. The ideal way according to him to retain his employees. Finally, faced with the numerous abuses observed, such as overtime not always paid, the Montreuil plant is asking for an increase in controls and sanctions. Here too, the cabinets of Olivier Dussopt and Olivia Grégoire do not seem to favor this track: "I am not aware that these checks are insufficient, but it is a point on which we will eventually look," he explains. -on their side.
Be that as it may, this “seasonal plan” “comes a little late” for the summer period of 2023, we recognize at Bercy and rue de Grenelle, who rather see in this collection “a structuring plan for the coming years”.