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Switzerland – New obligations on employers to give local jobseekers priority for new positions

Written by
TROILLET MEIER RAETZO, offering a global vision on human resources law and occupational benefit planning.
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On 9 February 2014 a popular initiative “against mass immigration” was approved, calling for limits and yearly quotas on foreign nationals allowed into Switzerland (irrespective of their EU or non-EU status) and for the principle of national priority to be applied to workers. The provisions necessary to implement this had to be put in place within three years.

On 1 July 2018, the implementing provisions entered into force. The new rules provide an obligation on employers in sectors with an unemployment rate of 8% (5% from January 2020) to announce job vacancies to the local unemployment office and provide a ban on publishing advertisements in any other way for five working days. This gives jobseekers registered with the unemployment office priority and exclusive access to the ads during that period. In addition, employers must invite candidates registered with the unemployment office whose profiles correspond to the position for an interview. The current list of professions affected includes certain lines of work in the construction and hospitality sectors.

Employers that violate their obligations may face fines of up to CHF 40,000.