Switzerland – Swiss Employers Now Required to Communicate Vacancies in High-Unemployment Fields

What has changed

Effective July 2018, Swiss employers will be required to communicate vacancies in occupations with above-average unemployment rates. The job categories are, among others, concreters, marketing specialists, service staff and kitchen staff. However, the Federal Council has yet to issue an annual list of the professional categories subject to the mandatory announcement of vacancies. This announcement is expected by the end of the first quarter (Q1) 2018.

Who is affected?

  • Swiss employers looking to hire foreigners to work in Switzerland

What to expect
In accordance with this measure, job vacancies in occupations with an above-average unemployment rate must be communicated to the regional placement office (ORP). After informing the ORP of their job vacancies, companies will have to wait five (5) business days before advertising these vacancies through other channels. This temporary withholding of information will enable local job seekers registered with the ORP to get priority access to these job vacancy announcements.

In addition, the ORP must, within three(3) working days, forward applications from job seekers meeting the position requirements to the companies. Companies will then have to invite the candidates matching the profile to a job interview. Companies will also be required to report the positions they are able to fill to the ORP through this channel. This mandatory notification will not be required for short-term employment (up to fourteen (14) calendar days), for apprentices hired further to their apprenticeship or for intra-company transfers.

As explained in our announcement of December 23, 2016 , following the acceptance by the Swiss people on February 9, 2014 of the “Against mass immigration” initiative and in order to preserve the relationship with the European Union (and related bilateral agreements), the Federal Council had decided for a “light implementation” of the February 9 initiative by only implementing a priority to the Swiss labor market and force employers to advertise open positions to the unemployment office and meet potential applicants if, in a particular industry, the unemployment rate has reached a certain percentage.

The implementation phase, which will have lasted almost four (4) years, is coming to an end: the “Against mass immigration” initiative will be implemented through measures to favor job-seekers in Switzerland.

According to State Secretariat for Economic Affairs’ (SECO) labor market statistics, the average unemployment rate for all occupations in Switzerland was 3.6% in 2016. Under the new legal provisions, the requirement to communicate vacancies will only apply to occupations with above-average unemployment rates. With this in mind, the Federal Council decided to proceed step by step: the threshold value of the unemployment rate will be 8% as of July 1, 2018 and 5% as of January 1, 2020. The transitional phase will allow employers and the cantons in charge of ORP to progressively adapt their vacancies processing procedure in line with the new regulations. According to estimates, the number of positions subject to the announcement requirement would be 75,000 in occupations with an unemployment rate above 8%, and 218,000 in those with an unemployment rate above 5%.

Requiring employers to advertise open positions with the unemployment office and meet potential applicants is intended to encourage Swiss employers to make full use of the local workforce’s potential.

This solution takes into account the wishes expressed by the different parties during the consultation procedure and must be considered a good compromise. As a result, the committee of the ‘Raus aus des Sackgasse’ or RASA initiative which attempted to cancel the constitutional article from February 9, 2014 has decided, in December, to withdraw its text before being subject to public vote.

What you need to do
Planning ahead

  • The real impact of this new vacancies processing procedure, once entered into force, can only be measured after a certain period of time.
  • Contact your Emigra Worldwide representative for further details on how these updates may impact you or your client.