Today, the European Commission proposes to support 473 former workers of vending machine company Selecta in France who have lost their jobs due to the COVID-19 pandemic with €4 million from the European Globalisation Adjustment Fund for Displaced Workers (EGF). The funding will help these people find new jobs through tailored guidance and advice, develop new skills, and start their own business.
Commissioner for Jobs and Social Rights, Nicolas Schmit, said: “Many people across Europe have been hit hard by the economic crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Today, the EU is showing solidarity with 473 former Selecta employees in France with €4 million from the European Globalisation Fund. The funding goes towards personalised training courses and job-search support, or towards starting their own business.”
France applied for EGF support to help dismissed workers at Selecta, following a drop in sales of products by vending machines because of the COVID-19 pandemic, related restrictions on mobility and the use of remote working.
The support to the dismissed workers includes learning new skills through vocational training, job search assistance and funding to start their own business. They will also benefit from psychological support, advisory services and counselling. Job-search allowances are also included in the support measures. Those who start a new job can receive a bonus and contributions to the cost of moving to a new place. Former workers starting their own business can receive training in business creation and up to €6,000 to cover set-up costs.
The total estimated cost of these support measures is €4.8 million, of which the EGF will cover 85% (€4 million). Selecta will finance the remaining 15%. Support to the eligible workers started in April 2021, shortly before the first layoffs.
The Commission’s proposal requires approval by the European Parliament and the Council.
The economic and financial consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic, restrictions on movement and remote working have had a strong impact on sales of products by vending machines.
The fall in the number of workers in offices and of visitors to other places where Selecta’s vending machines are located, such as railway stations, resulted in a drastic fall in turnover per machine. Faced with economic difficulties, the enterprise had to restructure its activities and dismissed 473 workers.
The region of Île-de-France (32%) and the city of Lille (13%) were most affected by Selecta displacements. Due to a difficult employment situation in these places and given that one third of the displaced workers have a low level of education, French authorities expect that the workers impacted by Selecta’s restructuring will be in need of personalised support to find new jobs.
Under the new EGF regulation 2021-2027, the Fund continues to support displaced workers and self-employed people who have lost their activity. With the new rules, EGF support becomes more easily available for people affected by restructuring events: all types of unexpected major restructuring events can be eligible for support, including the economic effects of the COVID-19 crisis, as well as larger economic trends like decarbonisation and automation. Member States can apply for EU funding when at least 200 workers lose their jobs within a specific reference period.
In November 2021, for instance, the Commission proposed that 297 dismissed Airbus workers in France, who lost their jobs due to the pandemic, will be supported with €3.7 million from the EGF.
Overall, since 2007, the EGF has made available some €660 million in 170 cases, offering help to nearly 166,000 people in 20 Member States. EGF-supported measures add to national active labour market measures.
Source: EGF: €4 million to dismissed workers in France (europa.eu)
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