Unemployment benefit is a cash benefit paid to unemployed people who are looking for work with an employer. To receive unemployment benefit you must be unemployed, available for and actively seeking work.
You will also need to show that you meet two other requirements that relate to your social insurance contributions record:
- You need to have made at least 26 social insurance contribution payments as an employed person in Guernsey, at any time in your working life.
- You also need to have made at least 26 contribution payments as an employed person or have received contribution credits as an employed person during the relevant contribution year.
As well as these contributions requirements, you will need to hold a valid residency certificate or employment permit before you can receive unemployment benefit. More information about how to apply for a residency certificate or employment permit is provided on the Residence Certificates and Permits page in the useful links section.
What is a 'relevant contribution year'
- If you are claiming unemployment benefit in the first six months of any year, the relevant contribution year on which the amount of benefit is based is the calendar year of two years before. If you are claiming unemployment benefit in the second six months of any year, the relevant contribution year is one year before.
How much will I get?
- The amount of unemployment benefit you will get depends on your contribution record. The full rate of unemployment benefit is provided for your information in the Benefits and Contributions leaflet in the downloads section of this page.
How do I claim unemployment benefit?
- As soon as you become unemployed you should make contact with Employment Benefits if you live in Guernsey, or the States Office if you live in Alderney. An appointment will be made for you to attend the office to make your claim. If you need information about accessibility, there is an Access Guide for Edward T Wheadon House.
- You must possess a valid residency certificate or employment permit from the date that you wish to apply for unemployment benefit.
- You should claim as soon as you become unemployed. If you do not claim straightaway, you would not usually receive unemployment benefit for any of the days before you first register with Employment Benefits or Alderney States Office.
I am self-employed, can I claim unemployment benefit?
- Generally, contributions paid as a self-employed person do not count for unemployment benefit which would mean that you could not receive unemployment benefit as a self-employed person.
- But, if in any relevant contribution year, you have paid at least 39 social insurance contributions or had contributions credits on your record, then any self-employed or non-employed contributions on your record for the remaining 13 weeks of the year are treated as if they were employed person contributions. This may allow your rate of benefit to be increased.
- If you have given up your self-employment and are now trying to find work, you should contact Employment Benefits without delay to see if you may be entitled.
More detailed information about unemployment benefit, including information for students, trainees and people who have just left college or university, is provided in the Unemployment Benefit leaflet (Leaflet 12) in the downloads section of this page.