Retirement, unemployment… the self-employed want to be as well protected as employees

Self-employed workers, to whom a bill will soon grant a unique status, would like to obtain an alignment of their social rights, which they consider weak, with those of employees, according to a study by the Association for the Right to Initiative economic (Adie), which AFP obtained on Tuesday, February 1. “The crisis has acted as a revelation of the limits of a social protection system built for the wage earner and which still largely ignores the self-employed”, notes Adie.

“Compared to salaried workers, self-employed workers on a modest income pay more contributions for fewer rights, they struggle to access housing and training, they face the risk of uncompensated unemployment…”, she recalls. According to a consultation carried out in the fall by OpinionWay with 1,149 independent entrepreneurs supported by Adie, 93% of them consider it “urgent” to converge their social rights with those of employees.

In detail, 59% of the self-employed, who can practice today under several legal statuses, want unemployment rights as a priority and 49% want above all better coverage of professional risks. Nearly half of them (47%) claim that their rights have deteriorated since they started.

Unlike employees, the self-employed cannot easily receive unemployment. Since 2019, they have benefited from an allowance for self-employed workers (ATI), the duration of which is limited, as well as the amount (around 800 euros per month). In the event of work stoppage, their daily allowances are also lower and take longer to be triggered.

Retirement, the subject that worries the most

With identical incomes, their basic pension is broadly similar to that of employees, but the supplementary pension of the self-employed, when they can afford it, is very often lower than that of employees. “The subject is gaining momentum with the Covid-19 pandemic, confirms Jean-Guilhem Darré, general secretary of the Syndicat des Independants. Social protection is rather weak. The rights of the self-employed are indexed to their resources, which fell in 2020 and 2021. What worries most is retirement”.

According to Adie, France has 3.6 million self-employed people of all legal statuses, who represent 11% of its active population. A bill, which should be definitively adopted by Parliament in February, provides in particular in the event of a hard blow for the dissociation of the professional and personal assets of the self-employed, as well as the extension of the unemployment benefit for the self-employed. At the end of January, the government also announced additional financial aid for certain categories of self-employed workers affected by the health crisis.

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