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Will new job ads rules in Switzerland impact cross border workers?

Will new job ads rules in Switzerland impact cross border workers?

11 July 2018

As of July 1st, there are new regulations on posting vacant jobs advertisements for professions with high unemployment rate. Their aim is to promote and aid use of domestic workforce which could make it more difficult for frontaliers to apply for a new position.

Mass Immigration Initiative coming to life

Implementation of new regulations of advertising vacant jobs is a result of Mass Immigration Initiative that has been voted on in 2014. Swiss electorate accepted it and ever since the government has been working on how to bring the Initiative to life with proper rules. The problem faced here was how to satisfy the electorate’s desires while simultaneously not violating the European agreement on free movement of people. New regulations are light-hearted version on the initiative that is supposed to favour residents over non-residents when it comes to offering a job, especially in high rate unemployment professions. As of now the regulations apply to 19 such occupations, as the threshold is 8 percent nationwide unemployment rate. From January 2020, the threshold will be lowered to 5 percent. It means, if there is more than 8 percent (or later 5 percent) unemployment rate across the country for a given profession, the employer must follow the new advertising rules. In case of violation of this law, a fine of CHF 40,000 can be applied.

New rules explained

Basically, the idea is that in first days the employer is obliged to exclusively publish job vacancy offer only via RAV – Regional Job Centre (ORP - Offices régionaux de placement). From February 2018 the employers could verify if the profession they want to advertise a job in, is eligible for new rules. If the threshold of 8 percent is met, the system automatically redirects the employer to RAV online notification system. For the first five days of advertising the job, only registered RAV members and employees have access to the offer. Companies are forbidden to publish the offer elsewhere in this period. What is more, during this first five days companies can hire only employees who get to know about the job via RAV system. From the RAV point of view, the job centre is required to propose to the employer suitable candidates for his offer in first three days since it has been posted. The employer is obliged to inform if the proposed candidate was hired or not and if the offer is still available however, there is no need to provide the reason for not going with the RAV’s proposed employees. There are a few exceptions to the rules: if the vacancy is urgent because the employee is sick and it does not exceed 14 days, if the company is hiring the apprentices at the end of apprenticeship or close relatives in case of family-run businesses. Also, when employees or interns are changing jobs or getting promoted within the same company, there is no need to notify RAV.

Will it impact cross border workers and immigrants inflow?

New regulations are supposed to help stop mass immigration and inflow of cross-border workers and non-residents of Switzerland, who would take away vacancies from Swiss people. It doesn’t not apply to European Union residents who are living in Switzerland and hold valid working and resident permits. However, it is not expected that the new rules will highly impact the immigration process or stop cross border workers, as of now only 11 percent of all vacant positions will be subject to it. With lower threshold implemented in 2020, this percentage will rise to 31 percent of all job vacancies. The ones who will be highly impacted by the regulations are the employers. They will have to spend more time and put more effort to meet new requirements and complete all administrative paperwork.

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