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Registering for Unemployment Benefits (Pôle Emploi) in France

Don’t fear… this process is not quite as complicated as it seems! The process of registering as unemployed in France is known as "demandeur d'emploi”. It’s managed by the French government agency, Pôle Emploi.

First things first. To register as unemployed in France, you'll need to have a valid residence permit or visa and have worked and paid into the French social security for at least six consecutive months within the past two years (this is equivalent to 130 days or 910 hours of work). You’ll also need to be actively seeking employment and be available to work. It must be noted that there are certain categories of workers who aren’t eligible for unemployment benefits from Pôle Emploi. This includes self-employed individuals or those who have voluntarily left their jobs without a valid reason.

Please note that you’ll only receive unemployment benefits for as long as you meet the eligibility requirements and you’re actively seeking employment. If you’re not - your benefits will likely be terminated.

If you fit into the eligibility category for Pôle Emploi.- congratulations! To reap the benefits and start the process, you’ll first need to register with Pôle Emploi online. After this initial stage is complete, you’ll need to make an appointment at your local Pôle Emploi office to officially register as unemployed. At this appointment, you can expect to be asked to answer questions regarding the type of work you’re looking for.

Once these stages are complete and you’re registered, you’ll be able to receive unemployment benefits! All benefits are paid by Pôle Emploi directly to you. When it comes to the amount, this will depend on your previous salary and the length of time you have worked in France. As an example, the lowest monthly unemployment allowance provided by Pôle Emploi in France is currently €29.06 per day, or approximately €871.80 per month for a full-time unemployed person. The maximum amount of unemployment allowance is €7,100 per month.

Of course, Pôle Emploi has the obvious benefit of monetary gain - but on top of this, they help you actively search for new work and job opportunities. They do so by providing access to job listings and career resources. If you’re feeling nervous or completely confused about where to start, you’ll have access to targeted training programs and other support that will help you be successful in the French employment system - like access to French language lessons and more.

Navigating the Pôle Emploi system isn’t difficult, but of course, we’re here to offer a helping hand as and when necessary to make sure you’re getting the most out of the French employment system.

Speak soon,

The Aster Team


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