And it passes. The Senate dominated by the right approved on the night of Sunday to Monday the creation of a "senior index" in companies, on the place of the oldest, but only for those with more than 300 employees, during the examination of the pension reform project. Parliamentarians adopted Article 2 of the bill by 244 votes to 96, after more than seven hours of debate.

The government deferred to the "wisdom" of senators, who removed the obligation of this index for companies with more than 50 employees, a threshold that was added by the National Assembly last month. The index will be mandatory from November 2023 for companies with more than 1,000 employees, and for those with more than 300 employees from July 2024. Employers will be liable to financial penalties for non-publication of this index, but no obligation of result has been set for the employment of seniors.

The senatorial right says yes to the index

The left has long railed against this index, pointed out as a "legislative rider", and perceived as "a gimmick" and a "decoy". "Is the government ignoring the critical situation after 55 years" when "many seniors do not find jobs," asked the socialist Monique Lubin, worrying like others about the effects of raising the legal retirement age from 62 to 64. "The index finger is as useful as the toll-free number to fight the heat wave," said communist Fabien Gay.

Conversely, the Minister of Labour Olivier Dussopt defended "a tool for measuring the involvement of companies". "We were inspired by the index on professional equality (women and men), with which companies have improved their score" and the senior index is "a first stone", he added. The senatorial right said yes to the index, a simple "photograph", but on condition that there is no additional sanction and that its scope is reduced.

Employability of seniors

In the largest companies, "we can build a real ambitious policy of employability of seniors," said the rapporteur of the old age branch, René-Paul Savary (LR). He stressed that the threshold of 300 employees was also the threshold for the obligation to negotiate on the forward-looking management of employment and skills. The smallest companies do not have sufficient human resources services, also justified LR and centrist elected officials.

In the National Assembly, the right voted against Article 2, after the extension of the index to companies with more than 50 employees from July 2025. This provoked the rejection of the article, a serious setback for the government and presidential majority. Deputies and senators will later have to try to agree on the thresholds of application.

  • Pension reform 2023
  • Society
  • Senate
  • The Republicans (LR)
  • Nupes
  • Renaissance (political party)