CERN Unemployment Insurance Scheme

The purpose of the CERN unemployment insurance scheme is to protect staff members against the financial consequences of unemployment.

1. Preconditions for entitlement to CERN’s Unemployment Insurance Scheme benefits

A staff member is entitled to these benefits only if he has held a staff member contract for a continuous period of at least six months and finds himself involuntarily without employment. 
Staff members must be actively seeking employment and shall not be eligible for such unemployment benefits if they have resigned from the Organization, have signed another contract (even an associate contract), have become students, or are in receipt of a retirement pension or a total disability pension.

To be entitled to CERN's unemployment insurance scheme benefits, the staff member must be registered as a jobseeker with the competent unemployment insurance authorities of his country of residence. 
He must also have completed all the necessary formalities within 30 days of the end of his contract.

NB.: Staff members in the following situations are not, or are no longer, entitled to unemployment insurance scheme benefits:

  • be in receipt of a retirement or total disability pension,

  • have reached the age limit (65 years)

  • be once again engaged in gainful employment (employment contract).

In the event that the person concerned resumes gainful employment for a limited period, he may later resume his entitlement under the CERN Unemployment Insurance Scheme within the maximum period of 60 consecutive weeks following the termination of his contract.

2. Entitlement under the CERN unemployment insurance scheme

The following benefits are payable to beneficiaries of the unemployment insurance scheme for a maximum period of 60 consecutive weeks following the termination of their contract:

2.1 Unemployment benefit

The amount of the unemployment insurance benefit corresponds to 70% of the last basic salary. This percentage is increased to 80% of the last basic salary for those who had previously been in receipt of the family allowance. If the spouse/partner works at CERN as a fellow or staff member, the family, child and infant allowances will be transferred to him and the beneficiary of the unemployment insurance will then receive 70% of his last basic salary.

The basic salary is calculated as a function of the number of working hours on the date of termination of the contract and is subject to a ceiling of 10'500 CHF.

Pursuant to the principle of non-concurrence of benefits, any benefit of the same nature paid by a source outside the Organization must be declared. It will be deducted from the amount of the CERN unemployment benefit.

NB: The contract termination indemnity is deducted from the unemployment benefit (see below the example).

2.2 Family, child and infant allowances

The family, child and infant allowances (where applicable) are paid for the maximum period of 60 weeks.
Changes in family situation are taken into account during the unemployment period (marriage/partnership, birth, etc.).

2.3 Health insurance

The staff member may remain a member of the CERN Health Insurance Scheme (CHIS) for a maximum period of 60 consecutive weeks following the termination of his contract. In this case, he must apply to retain membership himself and forward a copy of his membership registration and his agreement to deduction of the contribution to the Unemployment benefits service. The staff member will be entitled to reimbursement of his CHIS contribution in addition to his unemployment benefit. In practice this means that the staff member must pay the monthly contribution to the CHIS which is then reimbursed by CERN.

If the staff member chooses a health insurance scheme other than the CHIS, the contribution will not be reimbursed. However, an exception is made where membership of the national health insurance scheme is obligatory. In this case, CERN reimburses the amount of the contribution up to the amount of the contribution to the CHIS (12.11% of the last basic salary).

2.4 Example calculation

Example for a basic salary of 8'100 CHF and a contract termination indemnity of 24'300 CHF:

Month Unemployment benefit (1) Family allowance Child allowance CHIS contribution (2) CERN payment
May 0 + 381 + 456 + 981 1'818
June 0 + 381 + 456 + 981 1'818
July 0 + 381 + 456 + 981 1'818
August + 1'620 + 381 + 456 + 981 3'438
September + 6'480 + 381 + 456 + 981 8'298

(1) Unemployment benefit = 80% of the basic salary, i.e. 6'480 CHF

Deduction of contract termination indemnity: e.g.: 3 months of indemnities, i.e. 24'300 CHF
24'300 = 6'480 + 6'480 + 6'480 + 4'860.

The full amount of unemployment benefit of 6'480 CHF is paid from the fifth month and at most up to the end of the 60-week period.

(2) CHIS contribution payable by the staff member and reimbursable by CERN = 12.11% of the basic salary.

3. Other useful information

After the end of his contract, the staff member is no longer a member of the Organization's personnel and is no longer entitled to benefit from the privileges associated with the status of international civil servant (e.g. green plates, legitimation cards, etc.).

  • Access to CERN: If the person concerned needs to access the CERN site to go to the bank or UNIQA’s office, he must report to the CERN Reception building where a temporary visitor’s access card that is valid for the day will be issued to him.

  • Residence permits (permis de résidence/titre de séjour): If the person concerned wishes to stay in Switzerland or France after the end of his CERN contract, he must himself take the necessary steps with the competent national authorities to obtain a residence permit; CERN cannot provide him with one or take any action to assist him to obtain one. (More information can be obtained on the official Swiss and French web sites).

    NB: Nationals of the following countries residing in France are subject to transitional arrangements with regard to the European Union labour market which may prevent them from registering with the French unemployment insurance authorities: Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Cyprus, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, Romania, Slovak Republic and Slovenia. The same applies to persons who are not nationals of the European Union.

  • Income tax: The person concerned must contact the tax authorities of his country of residence to establish whether he must declare his unemployment benefit. For information, CERN unemployment benefit is not subject to CERN internal taxation (however, the termination of contract indemnity falls within CERN's internal taxation arrangements and is thus not subject to national income tax).

    A certificate of the amounts received can be provided on request.

Procedure updated on: