Resignation-reconversion: how does it work?

Benoît Yèche
Benoît Yèche
Chief Marketing Officer
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Resignation-reconversion: how does it work?

Would you like to resign to carry out a professional retraining project or launch yourself into entrepreneurship? Since 2019, there has been a scheme called Démission-Reconversion (Resignation-Reconversion) that allows you to carry out this project while still receiving your unemployment benefit. 

Initially criticized for being complex and inaccessible, it now enables over 20,000 French people to take the plunge every year. So how exactly does Démission Reconversion work? We explain!

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Am I entitled to unemployment benefits after resigning? 

In theory, no! Resigning, whether in the private or public sector, is a courageous but risky act. In fact, resigning does not entitle you to unemployment benefit (known as ARE), as it is considered a voluntary breach of contract by the employee. 

However, there are certain cases of resignation which are considered legitimate and which may, after examination of your situation, entitle you to unemployment benefits: 

  • a move
  • your employer no longer pays your salary
  • you are a victim of violence and/or harassment at work
  • you want to volunteer. 

However, you need to be careful, because you'll need to prove that your situation is genuine and that you meet all the criteria! 

However, for some years now, there has been a new scheme called Démission-reconversion, which allows you to receive unemployment benefits after resigning, subject to certain conditions .

But this scheme is not automatic and is subject to very strict conditions, so you need to be very careful and check that you meet the criteria before resigning.

What is the Resignation-Reconversion scheme? 

An emblematic promise of Emmanuel Macron's program that brought him to power in 2017, the Démission-reconversion scheme was adopted in 2018 as part of the law on freedom to choose one's professional future. 

The Démission-Reconversion scheme supports your career transition project by enabling you to receive unemployment benefit after resigning from your job, in two cases: professional retraining, or setting up or taking over a business. 

Implemented by decree in 2019, the scheme initially got off to a rocky start, criticized for its cumbersome administration, but today 20,000 files have been validated for 2023. Average age of beneficiaries: 45!  

Case 1: Resigning to change careers

Who pays for training once you've resigned?

In the case of retraining, the scheme enables you to receive the Aide au Retour à l'Emploi benefit until your entitlement expires, guaranteeing you a source of income while you train. 

The Resignation-Reconversion scheme does not cover your training costs. However, this can be covered by various means: your Compte Professionnel de Formation, theAIF from France Travail (formerly Pôle Emploi), your Region. 

Resigning isn't the only solution for successful retraining when you have an open-ended contract. There areother solutions to explore, such as the Projet de Transition Professionnelle (Professional Transition Project), which gives you access to financing with Transitions Pro. 

Case 2: Resigning to create or take over a business

If you are planning to set up or take over a business, the Démission-Reconversion scheme also enables you to receive an unemployment benefit known as Aide à la Reprise ou Création d'Entreprise (ARCE). 

It's well known that entrepreneurs take a little time to get paid when launching their business, but thanks to this scheme, you can secure an income until your rights expire. 

Who is eligible for the Resignation-Reconversion scheme? 

Eligibility conditions for the Resignation-Reconversion scheme are as follows: 

  • Be an employee with a permanent contract under private law
  • Proof of 5 years' continuous employment, i.e. 1,300 days in the last 60 months
  • Have a concrete, formalized project to change careers or create or take over a business, recognized as "real and serious".

Can civil servants resign to retrain? 

Civil servants are not eligible for the "Démission-reconversion" scheme, as in order to benefit from it, they must have resigned within the meaning of the French Labor Code, to which civil servants are not subject. However, there are other ways of financing training for civil servants. 

Are auto-entrepreneurs eligible for retraining resignation?  

No, it is not possible for auto-entrepreneurs to benefit from a resignation-reconversion. However, if you had accumulated unemployment rights before becoming a self-employed entrepreneur, it is possible to reactivate them in order to complete your conversion. To do this, you need to register with France Travail and consult your advisor. 

The 4 steps to a Resignation-Reconversion scheme

To benefit from a Resignation-Reconversion scheme, you need to take the following steps to validate your project and ensure that you receive your unemployment benefits before resigning: 

  1. Check that you are eligible for the scheme (the criteria are listed above).
  2. Work out your project with a career development advisor. He or she will help you put together your file, identify the training you need if necessary, and define your financing plan. To find a CEP, you can contact France Travail or consult the dedicated operators by region here.
  3. Have your project validated: send your complete file, justifying the "real and serious" nature of your project, to the validation commission in your region. 
  4. If your project is approved, you can resign, register with France Travail and benefit from ARE or ARCE! 

How do I fill in the application form for a Resignation-Reconversion? 

To complete your Resignation-Reconversion application, it's essential to contact a professional development advisor (CEP), who will help you make sure you don't miss out on any important information. 

The application must be submitted online, and consists of a dedicated form, which differs depending on whether you are looking to retrain, or to set up or take over a business. 

If you're applying for training, you'll need to list the training courses you've identified, along with requests for quotes. If you're setting up a new business, you'll need to enclose a market study and a three-year financing plan. In both cases, you'll also need a certificate of eligibility for France Travail. Your CEP must then validate your application before you can submit it. 

What to do if a Resignation-Reconversion request is refused? 

If your application is refused, you can appeal within two months of the decision. If your project is refused, it may be that it is not yet solid or complete. In this case, it may be more prudent to be patient and develop your project further, before reapplying! 

Testimonials from professionals who have benefited from a resignation-reconversion scheme 

Opinions on the Resignation-Reconversion scheme are fairly divided: "Lelouch" writes in a forum of a very positive experience: "Here's (...) my feedback (spoiler alert: very positive) on the system put in place". 

Marie, aged 36, recounts a less positive experience on Le Monde 's website: her project had been validated, but seven months after her resignation, she was not receiving any unemployment benefits: "If I had received a refusal from Pôle emploi's resignation-conversion unit, I wouldn't have taken the liberty of resigning from my last job, I would have negotiated a conventional termination. 

Conclusion: Resignation-Reconversion, a fine device but not easy to obtain! 

By now you'll have understood that the Démission-Reconversion scheme gives you the chance to resign and receive unemployment benefit, so that you can carry out a retraining or business creation project! 

But make sure you meet the eligibility criteria, as it's not open to everyone, and wait until you know whether your project has been validated before resigning! 

And if you're looking for a new career in tech, take a look at the syllabuses for Jedha' s data and cybersecurity training courses! 

Frequently asked questions about resignation-conversion

What is the amount of unemployment benefit in the event of resignation-reconversion? 

To calculate your entitlement to ARE or ARCE under the Démission-Reconversion scheme, you can use the France Travail simulator. 

What are the grounds for legitimate resignation? 

Certain reasons for resigning are considered legitimate and therefore entitle you to unemployment benefits: moving house, your employer stopping paying your salary, a proven case of violence and/or harassment in the workplace, a civic service or volunteer project. Make sure you can prove that you meet these criteria before you resign! 

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Benoît Yèche
Benoît Yèche
Chief Marketing Officer
Benoît has been Jedha Bootcamp's Chief Marketing Officer since December 2022. A graduate of HEC and Sciences Po Paris, he specialized in marketing and start-ups. Passionate about Data Marketing and continuing education, he joined Jedha to develop the reputation of the benchmark Data and Cybersecurity school!

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