Who is the competent body?

To receive unemployment benefit, you need to register with Pôle emploi. This is the single point of contact for collecting benefits and assisting jobseekers in their search for work. You apply for benefits when you register with Pôle emploi.

When and how do I register?

You must register from the 1st day of unemployment, only online, on the website of Pôle emploi.

Even if jobseekers do not have all the required documents, they must register in order to take up the date.


  • Registration can take place at the earliest the day after the end of the employment contract and at the latest one year later.
  • The starting date for benefits cannot be earlier than the date of registration.

What documents do I need to provide?

In France, Pôle emploi requires the letter of dismissal (to find out the dates of notice), a periodic payslip and a non-periodic payslip (bonuses, settlement payments, etc.), and any settlement.

The steps required to ensure that the employment authorities receive form U1 must have been taken beforehand (see Introduction).


  • the computer system automatically requires the last 24 payslips, but this is not useful.
  • The settlement indemnity will be taken into account to defer the starting point for compensation.

What are the conditions for receiving compensation?

Unemployed employees must:

  • have worked for at least 6 months (= 130 days worked, i.e. 910 hours) in the 24 months preceding the end of the employment contract (36 months for those aged 50 and over);
  • be aged between 16 and 62 (legal retirement age), unless they do not have the required number of quarters;
  • have had their employment relationship severed by redundancy, the end of a fixed-term contract, contractual termination or resignation for a legitimate reason (see question below);
  • be physically fit to work;
  • be registered as a jobseeker with Pôle emploi and comply with the personalised project for access to employment
    accept reasonable offers of employment.

Am I entitled to unemployment benefit if I resign?

In France, there are legitimate reasons for resigning that entitle you to unemployment benefit (following a spouse, for example).
These situations are detailed in article 2 of the regulations appended to the decree of 26 July 2019 on the unemployment insurance scheme. They are listed on the website of Unédic.

In addition, an employee who resigns may still receive compensation after 121 days, if the joint body considers that he or she has made a genuine effort to find a job.

In addition, since 1 November 2019, employees who resign can receive unemployment benefit if they can prove that they have a genuine and serious plan to retrain for a new career. This must involve either setting up or taking over a business, or undergoing training. The allowance, calculated on the basis of previous salaries, can only be granted to people who have worked as an employee for at least 5 consecutive years and who have sought professional development advice before resigning. It is also necessary to have the project validated by a regional commission and to register with Pôle emploi within 6 months of this validation.

How long does compensation last?

In France, compensation begins the day after the waiting period and the deferral period(s).

The waiting period is 7 days. It applies whenever you are covered by unemployment insurance, and is in addition to any periods of deferment:

  • “Paid holiday” deferral, calculated on the basis of the amount of holiday compensation paid at the end of the contract,
  • “Specific” deferral, calculated on the basis of extra-legal severance pay (in excess of the legal minimum) paid on termination of the employment contract.

The period of compensation is equal to the number of calendar days between the first day of the first employment contract identified in the last 24 or 36 months of work and the date of the end of the employment contract preceding the claim for benefit.

In other words, all the calendar days between these two milestones (first day of your first employment contract in the last 24 or 36 months and the date on which your last employment contract ended) are counted, whether these days are days worked or days not worked.

From 1 February 2023, a coefficient of 0.75 is applied to the duration of compensation for recipients whose employment contract ended (or the date on which the redundancy procedure was initiated) after 1 February 2023.

The compensation period cannot be less than 182 days, i.e. 6 months. Application of the 0.75 coefficient cannot therefore result in a period of compensation of less than 6 months.

The maximum duration of compensation cannot exceed:

  • 548 days (18 months) for those under 53 on the date of termination of their employment contract;
  • 685 days (22.5 months) for people aged 53 or 54 on the date their employment contract ends;
  • 822 days (27 months) for people aged 55 or over on the date their employment contract ends.


  • certain periods (illness, maternity, certain periods during the COVID-19 crisis, etc.) not covered by an employment contract are deducted from the number of calendar days counted;
  • days not worked (periods between contracts) are capped at 75 % of days worked.

In the event of unfavourable economic conditions, jobseekers who have reached the end of their entitlement (if they have less than 30 days of benefits remaining) may be entitled to an end-of-right supplement.

Under certain conditions, recipients who have reached statutory retirement age may have their entitlement extended until they reach full retirement age, i.e. until the age of 67 at the latest (automatic full rate, regardless of the number of quarters contributed).

Example: An employee has been on several temporary and fixed-term contracts over the last two years. In total, over the last 24 months, he has been covered by several employment contracts for a total of 10 months (217 days worked, i.e. 303 calendar days). His last contract ended after 1 February 2023. (Source: Unédic)

His period of compensation corresponds to:

  • Number of calendar days between the 1st and last day of employment identified during the affiliation reference period: 730 days, i.e. 24 months.
  • Verification of the maximum number of days not worked: 75 % of the number of days worked, i.e. 75 % of 303 days
    (303 x 0.75 = 227): the number of days not worked taken into account is therefore limited to 227 days.

The compensation period is therefore 530 days (303 + 227) x 0.75, i.e. 398 days.

What is the amount of compensation?

In France, jobseekers receive 54 % of their gross earnings subject to contributions for the 24 months (36 months for people aged 53 and over) preceding the end of their employment contract.

Unemployment benefit is subject to the general social contribution (contribution sociale généralisée, CSG) and the social debt repayment contribution ( contribution pour le remboursement de la dette sociale, CRDS).

A deduction of 3 % of the gross daily allowance is also made to finance the supplementary pensions of unemployment insurance recipients.
A simulator is available on the Pôle emploi website.