a shocking suggestion from a group of experts

Every year, the group of experts submits its recommendations to the government. Despite inflation, the economists and researchers who make up this independent group stick to their usual line: they do not recommend strengthening the SMIC on January 1, 2023. On this date, the SMIC will be automatically revalued in any case. road. They estimate that, adjusted for inflation, SMIC should earn 1.8%.

There is no need for government support in January

But experts believe that it is pointless for the government to go further, given the -automatic- revaluation already in place in 2022: 5.6% growth after 3.3% growth in 2021. According to them, the capital goes compared to others. Private sector workers who have not often experienced such increases in recent months.

Another argument put forward is that if the SMIC is too high, it risks slowing employment, especially for the least qualified. Employers may not want to hire at a very high salary level. In a situation where unemployment remains high, this element should be taken into account. Experts assure that SMIC, contrary to popular belief, is not poverty protection. Most of the working poor are poor mainly because they don’t work enough hours or don’t have a degree.

Finally, they note that any increase in the SMIC still contributes to distorting the wage net. It forces professional affiliates to consider networks that many others cannot.

An important reform

Taking into account these elements and the consequences of the SMIC, the group of experts insists on the need for deep reforms in the minimum wage system in our country. “If the minimum wage is an important wage base, especially to strengthen the bargaining power of workers in activities where the role of social partners is weakened – and the worker is then left alone with the employer -” it deserves to be reconsidered. .

And the group is preparing an innovative proposal: end the automatic revaluation for inflation.

Also, the report recommends several ways to review the calculation formula. Or let the government decide the rate of growth on its own without the restriction of this indexation. Of course, this idea will not be popular. Also, the government is unlikely to accept it, at least in the coming weeks.

Reaching out to social partners

The last proposal is particularly disruptive: leave (almost) complete control to collective bargaining. In other words, the level of the minimum wage will be discussed in the companies through an exchange between the social partners.

In order to ensure security, the group of experts plans to abandon the SMIC’s system of automatic indexation of minimum wage evolutions on average of the representative panel rather than inflation. Such an orientation exists in the Netherlands or Germany.

“The revaluation of the minimum wage is therefore consistent with a kind of extension of the effects of collective bargaining in branches that do not suffer from insufficient bargaining to the entire economy,” the report’s authors wrote. And let’s add that “this way does not prevent the state from giving additional nudges, on the contrary.” The same is true in the Netherlands and Germany.

Idea cheats in macronia. And for good reason, this is in line with the line advocated by Emmanuel Macron since ancient times, bringing to the company the subjects that belong to him, and the first of them, wages, as close as possible!

In recent months, the president has often said that it is not up to the state to decide the level of wages that should be applied in a company. He reiterated this especially during the conflict at the Total oil refineries.

It might be interesting to him that the “management” of the minimum wage is no longer under his control. It would also be a way to restore the power of the social partners who complain about their lack of power. Still, the responsibility would be too great for them.