This is a measure that has long been supported by employers’ organisations. But the right and the extreme right are on the other hand opposed to the creation of a “job in tension” residence permit, in order to encourage the recruitment of foreign workers in an irregular situation in sectors which are struggling to recruit, as pleaded in Le Monde the Minister of Labor Olivier Dussopt and the Minister of the Interior, Gérald Darmanin. “It concerns between a few thousand and a few tens of thousands of people”, specified the Minister of Labor on Franceinfo this Thursday, November 3. “This is not a massive regularization plan.”

“We hope, especially in jobs in tension, such as those of the building, that the immigrant worker in an irregular situation can request the possibility of remaining on the territory without going through the employer, explained Olivier Dussopt to Le Monde. This will allow to reverse the balance of power with a few employers who may have an interest in their employees being in an illegal situation. According to the Minister of Labour, “this specific residence permit will be there to regularize a situation because we demonstrate that we are working in a profession in tension”.

Next December, the government will present its draft law on asylum and immigration, which must first be examined in the Senate from January, and which will include this “short-term occupation” residence permit. On Franceinfo, Olivier Dussopt announced that consultations will be opened “from November” with the social partners to revise the list of occupations in tension “early 2023”.

This review will be done “based on economic data” and will aim to “ensure that the professions which are not in tension are not in this list (…) and that the professions which have become jobs in tension can integrate it”, specified the Minister of Labour. “There is already a list of occupations in tension. This list, which corresponds to approximately thirty occupations, sectors, is fixed by decree. It has a regional variation to take into account the characteristics of the economy, and it should be reviewed at regular intervals,” he added.

The latest list of shortage occupations was published on April 1, 2021 in the Official Journal and includes details of the occupations concerned, region by region. The regional list of shortage occupations open to nationals of non-European Union countries was created by the government in 2008 and has been updated only once, in 2021. However, according to the cabinet of Olivier Dussopt , contacted by TF1info, this text “concerns the procedures for introducing foreign labor and not the regularization as provided for by the residence permit for jobs in tension” mentioned by the two ministers. On this subject, “there is no legislative vector to date”, assures the cabinet.

A “Needs in manpower” (BMO) survey is also published each year by Pôle emploi, the latest edition of which dates from the beginning of 2022, as Franceinfo recalls. According to this survey, the professions of home help and household help are experiencing the greatest tensions, with 85% of employers struggling to recruit. Nursing comes just behind, with about 81%, followed by road public transport drivers (80%), plumbers and heating engineers (77.6%), then chefs (76.43%) and childminders (76%). The figures from Pôle Emploi were collected through a questionnaire sent to companies, relating to their hiring intentions for the coming year, as well as the number of recruitments deemed “difficult” by recruiters.

“Revising the list more regularly” will be a condition for the success of the measure, observes Jean-Christophe Dumont, head of the migration division of the OECD, with AFP, especially in the context of an annual title. Because for the rest, “there are already work permits linked to this list”.

“There was already a list of shortage occupations, which allowed companies to file applications (for work permits and) for the residence permits necessary when we want to bring in workers for these jobs. But that’s complicated and cumbersome, with a lot of heterogeneity in the issue depending on the prefectures, underlines for her part in an interview with AFP Emmanuelle Auriol, professor at the Toulouse school of economics and author of a report on the subject for the Council economic analysis. However, many sectors would not function without this workforce.”

The measure also responds to an accounting logic, defended this Thursday the Minister of Public Accounts and Budget Gabriel Attal, on Europe 1: “Our public finances are losing between 5 and 6 billion euros due to hidden work” which concerns, “largely”, “foreigners who are not declared by the companies”, he noted.