What is the Pole Emploi?
The Pole Emploi is a public organisation which registers unemployed people in France and helps them back into employment. It is through this body that job seekers and people setting up new businesses can get access to financial assistance.
Note: you are only entitled to financial assistance (allocations chomage) through the Pole Emploi if you have worked in France.
There’s a misconception that the allocation chomage is the equivalent to unemployment benefit in the UK. This is not the case. France’s unemployment benefit is called RSA (le revenue de solidarité active) and is paid by the CAF (Centre d’Allocations Familiales). This financial aid is available to those who do not have any Pole Emploi rights.
When should I register with Pole Emploi ?
✅ When your work contract ends and you don’t have a new job
The way your work contract ends is one of the factors which will determine if you’re entitled to any financial assistance.
If you reach a mutual agreement with your employer to end your work contract (rupture conventionnelle) or your fixed term contract comes to an end (fin de CDD), then you may be entitled to financial assistance.
If you resign (démission) you cannot claim Pole Emploi payments.
✅ If you’re a seasonal worker
Registering with Pole Emploi between seasonal jobs will maintain your rights and validate your status in France. If you don’t register with Pole Emploi after your last seasonal job, only your work contracts in the past 12 months will be taken into account and you could lose your maternity rights.
✅ If you’re looking for a job but have never worked in France
Registering with the Pole Emploi will allow you
- access to job offers
- to validate your status
- give you access to training courses, language lessons and even driving lessons. This is dependent on their current budgets and if the courses will help you find the type of job you’re looking for.
✅ If you want to become self-employed / set up a new business
If you’ve previously had a work contract and are now setting up your own business or going self-employed, generous financial aid is available (called ACRE). You can more or less request for your “allocation chomage” to be continued while you set up your business.
In addition to this, if the ACRE is granted, you can also request a tax relief (ARCE) the first year of setting up your business.
Am I eligible for financial assistance?
Broadly speaking, you are entitled to receive allocation chomage, if :
- your work contract hasn’t come to an end voluntarily (you didn’t hand in your notice)
- you have worked at least 6 months over the past two years
- you are capable of work
- you are actively looking for work
How much financial help am I entitled to?
The calculation method isn’t straightforward, but as a guide…
The amount of your allocation depends on your previous salary. You will receive whichever is higher between 57 % of your daily salary or 40% of your daily salary + €12 per day.
Your daily salary calculation is simply your yearly salary divided by 365. It excludes redundancy contributions or other payments such as bonuses.
As a rule of thumb, you are entitled to receive the allocation chomage for the same length of time as the amount of time you have worked, however, this is capped at 24 months maximum.
To find out how much you would be entitled to, you can do a simulation here.
How to register with Pole Emploi?
For your first registration, you can only register with them via their website: https://www.pole-emploi.fr/accueil/
You will complete a questionnaire and will need the following documents to hand:
- carte de sejour
- carte vitale (social security number)
- Pole Emploi documents from your former employer
- RIB (bank details)
They will then set up an in-person appointment at the nearest Pole Emploi office.
At your meeting, you’ll need to confirm your identity and tell them about your situation and what your plans are (job-seeking, setting up a business etc).
In some cases, you may need to have two meetings. The first, to confirm your identity and the second to explain your future plans to an advisor.
You’ll then need to connect to the Pole Emploi website once a month, to update your situation and remain eligible for financial support.
If you have previously been registered with Pole Emploi, simply re-activate your account online.
Note : Pole Emploi communicates with you via your Pole Emploi account on their website. It’s here that they will send you your appointment dates and times. It is hard to reschedule appointments, so it’s important to check your account, emails and phone messages to make sure you don’t miss a meeting.
How we can help
French Admin support can help you register with Pole Emploi. The cost is €150. For this we’ll organise a phone meeting to complete your registration form and talk you through the process (45 mins). We will then be your point of contact and advise you how to reply to any questions the Pole Emploi will ask you until you’re fully registered and receiving your allocation chomage.