Who is Olivier Dussopt, new Minister of Labor?


Olivier Dussopt, appointed Minister of Labour, Full Employment and Integration on May 20, 2022

by Leo Potter

On May 20, the Secretary General of the Government Alexis Kohler announced the new government after the appointment of Elisabeth Borne as Prime Minister. Olivier Dussopt was therefore chosen to replace her at the head of the Ministry of Labor. Back to the profile of one of the faithful ofEmmanuel Macron.

Work is the key to dignity », here is what we could hear from the mouth of the new Prime Minister and former Minister of Labor Elisabeth Borne during his transfer of power from Olivier Dussopt. 43 years old, the new minister of labor officially took office this Monday, May 23, 2022 after having himself conceded to Gabriel Attal his post as Minister Delegate for Public Accounts. Olivier Dussopt had held this position for 2 years after succeeding Gérald Darmanin at Bercy in 2020.

Political background and career

Originally from Annonay in Ardèche, where he was mayor for nearly 10 years, Olivier Dussopt began his political career in the ranks of the Socialist Party. Elected deputy in the 2nd constituency of Ardèche in 2007, he ensures two terms in the National Assembly and will even go so far as to become vice-president of the party in the National Assembly and spokesperson for Martine Aubry for her presidential candidacy. He finally enters in 2017 at the government of Édouard Philippe as Secretary of State to the Minister for Action and Public Accounts, then as Minister Delegate in charge of Public Accounts in 2020 under the Castex government. It should also be added that he was at the origin, with Jean-Yves Le Drian and other representatives of the moderate left, of the Territories of Progress party, founded in January 2020 and qualified as the left wing of LREM. Olivier Dussopt will be elected president on October 9, 2021.

Important clarification, Olivier Dussopt is standing for a 3rd term at the legislative of June. Like 12 other ministers of the new government, he will be forced to resign if he is not re-elected. Which is not so obvious, by the way, when we know that this will be his first candidacy under the banner of the presidential party.

On a less funny note, Olivier Dussopt is the target of an investigation opened by the National Financial Prosecutor’s Office for “illegal taking of interest” and “corruption” in 2020. He had been searched the same year. Then deputy-mayor, Olivier Dussopt had, according to revelations from Mediapart, received as a gift two lithographs by a drinking water operator about to sign a contract with the town of Annonay (Ardèche). The person concerned expressed himself on this subject, preferring ” return the lithographs (…) although there is nothing wrong “, according to him. The procedure has so far not progressed, the case is therefore to be closely monitored.

The heavy task of pension reform

About his future within the Ministry of Labor, Olivier Dussopt will be responsible for setting up the controversial pension reform supposed to set the legal retirement age at 65 and abolish special diets, among other things. It should be noted that this is a subject likely to be mastered by the new Minister of Labour, who collaborated on the old-age insurance budget (main source of funding for the pension scheme) during his stay at the Ministry of Public Accounts. Relaunched many times by Emmanuel Macron, we can no longer question the government’s determination as to the application of this reform, especially since Olivier Dussopt will be able to count on the unwavering support of Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne, former Minister of Labour… At the microphone of the morning of RTL Tuesday May 24, 2022, Olivier Dussopt already announced indexation of pensions to inflation (estimated at 4.8% in April), applicable from July for pensions paid on 9 August.

Aid to companies for learning maintained

Another big file on the office of the Minister of Labour, learning. Widely put forward by the government to boost employment during the pandemic, in 2021 there were nearly 700,000 apprenticeship contracts signed in France. Brandished proudly by the majority, Olivier Dussopt’s objective is to reach the bar of million contracts signedas soon as possible “. In this, the minister announced to extend aid to companies for apprenticeship contracts until the end of the year, the date on which the annual budget is voted by Parliament. It is therefore quite plausible that this maintenance of aid will be renewed next January, following the results of the legislative elections.

Full employment in sight

Some will also have noted the subtlety in the change of name of the ministry, becoming the Ministry of Labour, FULL Employment and Integration. Barely hidden ambition or promotional and rewarding observation, the fact remains that the full employmentis at hand according to Elisabeth Borne. It is clear that Olivier Dussopt’s objective is to get as close as possible to this prospect, while the unemployment rate in France in the first quarter of 2022 was 7.3% according to INSEE. We do not know in detail the measures that Olivier Dussopt intends to take to achieve this, however his recent speeches would suggest a promotion of training (in continuity with the previous government). The Minister declared that he wanted to offer RSA beneficiaries “ integration and employment pathway “in the form of training and support, ” so that the RSA is no longer a poverty trap “. Moreover, on the question of a potential increase in the RSAOlivier Dussopt answered that he would be upgraded but not increased “.

Finally, many other issues rest on the minister’s shoulders, including the status of teachers, the upgrading of the health sector, working conditions and the purchasing power of workers. Without further details for the moment on these subjects, Olivier Dussopt assured that his activity as Minister of Labour, Full Employment and Integration will be ” in consultation “. The train is already on the rails, the minister met Wednesday, May 25, 2022 the representatives of the CFDT at the Hôtel du Châtelet, in Paris.

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