Professional retraining guide

I don't want to go back to work, what should I do?

The confinement was an opportunity for many French people to take a step back from their professional life and, for some, to decide not to return to work afterwards. Do you feel that you are in this situation: your work does not suit you anymore? Are you on the verge of burnout? You simply don't want to go back. There's no need to drag out your unhappiness, there are solutions to take a break. Several options are available to you, whether you want to take a short or long break or leave your current job. What are your options? Do they allow you to take a break while being paid? We tell you about them here.

Taking a vacation

As an employee with a permanent contract, fixed-term contract or temporary employment, you are entitled to a certain amount of paid leave per year.

How much time off ?

Whether you work full-time or part-time, you are entitled to 2.5 working days per month, i.e. 30 working days (5 weeks) for a full year of work. Some absences are also taken into account for the calculation of the number of days of leave: maternity, civil union, marriage, work stoppage due to an accident at work, training leave, etc.

What benefits?

You don't get your salary but a paid vacation allowance.

👉 Learn more about its calculation, you can go HERE.

Requesting a work stoppage or a sick leave

If your health condition does not allow you to work anymore, you can ask for a work stoppage by making an appointment at the occupational medicine or at your general practitioner. It allows you to benefit from an interruption of your work, while benefiting from a source of income.

Who can apply ? Employees or unemployed people

How long does it last?

The duration of a sick leave varies depending on whether it is an "ordinary" illness or a long-term illness.

  • In the case of ordinary sick leave, it lasts for a maximum of one year, at the end of which the medical committee must issue a favorable or unfavorable opinion on whether or not the employee can return to work. In the event of an unfavorable opinion, the employee may be reclassified or retired for disability.
  • A long-term illness is an illness that often requires heavy and costly treatment (e.g. hospitalization), involving a minimum of 6 months off work.

The duration of sick leave varies according to the employee's state of health. Following a medical examination, it can be prescribed by the doctor for a few days, a few months or even longer.

⚠Faire a break without requesting a work stoppage from the insurance company is risky, because your employer can request a counter-check from the insurance company if he has any doubt about your absence due to illness.

What benefits?

  • In the case of ordinary sick leave, the employee is paid full salary for 3 months, then half salary for the remaining 9 months.
  • For a long-term condition, benefits are paid for up to 3 years.

  • 👉 To learn more about the different conditions of compensation, you can go to

💡 Good to know

If you're off sick, keep your per diem statements handy, because they validate your retirement rights!

Requesting a termination of the employment contract

The conventional rupture

This is a method of amicable termination of the employment contract between the employee and the employer!

Who is it for? Employees with an open-ended contract (cdi) with more than 8 months of seniority, excluding the trial period.

What compensation?

Within the framework of a conventional rupture, you have the right to :

  • unemployment benefits within 7 working days.
  • an indemnity to compensate for paid vacations (ICCP) if you did not take them before the end of your contract.
  • a severance pay, the legal minimum of which is calculated on the basis of your salary per year of seniority:
  • if you have been with the company for 10 years or less: ÂŒ of your monthly salary X your number of years of seniority
  • if you have been with the company for more than 10 years: 1/4 of a month's salary per year of seniority for the years up to 10 years + 1/3 of a month's salary per year of seniority for the years from 10 years

👉You can estimate your benefits on the public service simulator. 

👉 If you wish to be accompanied by a counsellor in your approach to a contractual termination, you can contact the CEP toll-free number in your region.


This is a unilateral decision taken by the employee and the employer is obliged not to interfere in this choice. If you wish to resign, you can make your request orally or in writing via a letter of resignation (which is recommended). The main rule to respect is the notice period which determines your departure date: from 1 to 3 months depending on your seniority in the company.

Who is it for? All employees

What benefits do I get?

If it is a legitimate resignation, you will be able to receive unemployment after 4 months.

Here are some examples of what the government considers legitimate resignations:

  • In the case of a change of residence of your spouse, following a marriage, a pacs.
  • If you are a minor and you leave your job to follow your parents
  • If you are a victim of domestic violence and you wish to change your place of residence
  • If you have a handicapped child admitted to a care facility outside your place of residence

After a dismissal, a conventional rupture or the end of a fixed-term contract, if you resign from a new contract before 65 days of work have elapsed.

The amount of the indemnity paid by PĂŽle Emploi after 4 months will then depend on what you received previously.

👉 More about the other cases of legitimate resignations: it is by HERE.

Being dismissed for physical unfitness

If your physical and/or mental health condition does not allow you to continue in your job, your employer is obliged to offer you another job. If he is unable to do so, or if you refuse the reclassification proposal, he can then dismiss you.

💡 Good to know

Regardless of the termination of the contract (dismissal, resignation...), if your employer exempts you from performing your notice period, he/she will have to pay you a compensation for notice.

To take action

👉 Here are the training organizations offering assessments.

To go further

👉What is the difference between a resignation and a contractual termination ?

👉Bore out: I'm bored at work, what can I do ?

👉Am I in brown out ?

👉What if quiet quitting was good news ?