At Work in Paris

Unemployment Benefits in Paris

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The average unemployment rate in France is 10 percent.

The Pôle-Emploi (Employment Centre) assists job seekers in finding work and ensuring benefits are paid.

Who is Eligible?

The conditions for receiving benefits are dependent on an individual's circumstances. There are some standard requirements:

  • Employee must have worked at least four months (28 or 36 months for those aged 50 years or more)
  • Not have left the employment of their own free will (exceptions include following a spouse to another part of the country for their job)
  • Last employment in French employment (exception if you have been posted temporarily to France under the exception rule of the EU social security regulation)
  • Under the age of 60
  • Not be in receipt of a full State retirement pension

Non-EU citizens will need to show they have the right to work in France. This may be a visa, or may be stated on the Carte/Titre de Séjour with the phrase: "toutes activités professionnelles".


Unemployment benefit (l’allocation d’aide au retour à l’emploi - ARE) provide support for workers who are currently unemployed. To be registered as unemployed and receiving benefits, the applicant must be able to work, actively searching for employment and be available for interviews.


The level of unemployment benefit (allocation de chômage) is a percentage of a reference daily rate (salaire journalier de référence - SJR) and is calculated from your previous salary. For example,
If you earned €20,000 in the previous 12 months, then the SJR would be €20,000/365 days = €55 per day. You would be entitled to either 40.4% SJR + €11.34 per day OR 57.4% SJR (whichever was produced the larger amount).

The minimum amount payable is €27.66 per day. The maximum amount cannot be greater than 75% SJR.

Those who become unemployed as a result of redundancy are entitled to enhanced benefits, and there are also particular rules for seasonal workers.

Time Period

If your employer payed you holidays, or redundancy compensation more than the legal minimum, your allowance is postponed (maximum 75 days).

The duration of your employment activity establishes the duration of your allowance. The benefit is granted for periods of 6 months renewable within the limitation of the maximum duration of the benefit.

Duration of the employed activity Maximum benefit duration
6 months of activity during the last 22 months 7 months
14 months of activity during the last 24 months 23 months
27 months of activity during the last 36 months 36 months *
For people of 57 years old and more, 27 months of activity during the last 36 months and 100 quarters of pension contribution 42 months *
* if you are more than 50 years old

How to Claim a Benefit

If a work contract has come to an end or a worker has been dismissed, the first step is to register at the local Pôle-Emploi office. The job seeker must pre-register to make an appointment.

    Documents Required for meetings:
  • Registration and application for unemployment benefits file
  • Proof of identity (Carte de Séjour or passport)
  • Social security card
  • Certificate issued by the employer (if relevant)
  • Bank RIB

Advisors help create a Projet Personnalisé d'Accès à l'Emploi (PPAE) or "plan of action". An identifying number and personal code is issued at the initial meeting. Once the file (dossier) is completed, the applicant is eligible for benefits.

Registration should be confirmed regularly with a monthly declaration of situation and all changes to a person's circumstances (finding employment, pregnancy, change of address) must be reported. Notification must be given of these changes in situation within 72 hours.

Update 13/02/2013


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