Unemployment benefits

Date of update


In the event of involuntary loss of employment (redundancy, mutual contract termination, etc.), an insuree can receive unemployment benefits on condition that they have worked for at least four months.


Helpful tip: Coverage is identical in mainland France and in the overseas departments. With the shift in the social security system Mayotte, as part of its transformation into a department, the social security system was adapted to the common system. Nonetheless, some specific features remain. They are listed in our distinct fact sheet.


The amount of job seeker’s allowance, and the length of time for which it will be paid, depend on the contributions the individual has paid into the General Social Security System and the duration for which they have done so.


As of October 1, 2021, the conditions to be able to claim unemployment benefits are as follows:

  • To live in France (mainland and DROM except Mayotte where the unemployment insurance rules differ).
  • For foreign talent, to have a residence permit which allows them to register to Pôle Emploi.
  • Not to benefit from early retirement or not to have reached the age and number of quarters required to receive a full pension.
  • To have worked for at least 4 months (i.e., 88 days or 610 hours) during the last 24 months (last 36 months if the insured is at least 53 years old at the date of the end of the last employment contract).
  • To have involuntarily lost their job (end of a fixed-term contract or temporary assignment, early termination at the initiative of the employer, dismissal), or following a contractual termination.
  • To have registered with Pôle Emploi (public service in charge of supporting applicants in their search for a professional activity) within 12 months of losing their job.
  • To be actively looking for a job or carrying out a training action.
Source : Pole-emploi.fr

Use the calculator provided by Pôle Emploi to determine your entitlements.




As of November 1, 2019, any employee who decides to leave their job so as to start their own business is entitled to unemployment benefits if they can prove that they worked for their employer for at least five years. Previously, unemployment benefits were only paid to those who had been made redundant involuntarily.

Resignations that are deemed legitimate by Pôle Emploi (the national employment agency) are treated in the same manner as involuntary redundancies and therefore grant access to unemployment benefits (relocation for personal reasons and depending on circumstances, vocational training, setting up or taking over a business, etc.).


For more information, visit service-public.fr