“Second line” workers were essential during the 2020 lockdown periods, and beyond that their role was very important throughout the health crisis. The government would like them to benefit from an exceptional bonus.
Construction workers, guards, home helpers and salespeople were present throughout the health crisis, although they were exposed to Covid-19 through their work in public or with colleagues. According to the daily The echoes, Jean Castex will ask the professional branches to define the conditions for payment of a premium without charges, of the “Macron prime” type, on the occasion of the opening of the third social dialogue conference on Monday, March 15. Before deciding anything, we will first have to agree on the definition of “second line”.
Negotiations of professional branches
This is the reason why Elisabeth Borne, the Minister of Labor, commissioned two researchers to write a report on the subject last November. Two criteria are taken into account to determine the occupations that meet this definition: on the one hand, potential exposure to the disease, for example working in public. And on the other hand, the essential presence on site according to the example of the first containment. The “Macron bonus”, set up following the “yellow vests” movement, allows companies to pay a sum of up to 1,000 euros, exempt from income tax and social contributions.
But beyond this bonus, Elisabeth Borne wants to initiate discussions on a long-term revaluation of these professions, where salaries remain modest despite their importance for the economic life of the country. And not only during the health crisis. There is no question of ruling out the principle of a bonus, she said, but it is important to improve the wages of these workers.