• Adrian Tüscher, Partner |

Lessons learned in new Swiss job registration requirement

The new Swiss job registration requirement entered into force on 1 July 2018. Since then, job postings at local unemployment offices have nearly tripled. What are the lessons learned so far as businesses, HR and the competent administrations grapple with this additional burden?

Switzerland’s new job registration requirement (JRR) was developed in the course of implementing the “Stop Mass Immigration” initiative. This blog article explores some of the most frequently-asked questions that have emerged in practice since it entered into force in the summer of 2018.

Only a part of my vacancy is a listed job. Do I need to register it anyway?

In this kind of situation, the share of the listed job in the overall work load is important. Your vacant position, for instance, may consist of receptionist duties (listed) as well as other commercial tasks (unlisted). The vacancy needs to be registered if receptionist duties account for more than 50% of the workload.

Do I have to register my jobs when moving seat or residence to Switzerland?

You do not have to register the listed positions if you are taking your employees with you. This applies to moving seat as a company as well as residence as an individual. Bear in mind that all other immigration processes such as obtaining residence and work permits for your employees still apply. Registration is also required if a listed job becomes vacant after the move to Switzerland.

I need to fill my position urgently. What should I do?

If you need to fill your job vacancy at short notice, you still need to consider the JRR. There are no exceptions from the duty the register a listed job based on urgency. Still, there are some ways to facilitate the process and still comply with the JRR:

  • Hire a job seeker registered at the RAV
  • Fill the vacancy (temporarily) with internal staff employed for longer than 6 months
  • Hire an individual temporarily for a maximum of 14 days to bridge the gap but be aware that the occupant still needs to eligible to work in Switzerland, i.e. by possessing the required permits

How should I proceed with dossiers transmitted by the unemployment office (RAV)?

There is no obligation to interview or to employ applicants mediated through the JRR. However, this does not mean that you can simply ignore the dossiers received. The JRR requires you to at least provide feedback to RAV.

If you consider the applicants unsuitable, you just have to state this in your feedback to RAV – no further explanation is needed. Only if you deem them suitable are you obliged to invite or further acknowledge candidates in your recruiting process (duty for invitation).

What does enforcement look like?

Hefty fines up to CHF 40,000 per infraction are understandably a source of tension among businesses. Cantonal practices differ when it comes to enforcement of the JRR.

What we have generally seen over the past few months is a practical approach by the competent cantonal authorities. Many cantons tend to confront the offending party before initiating penal proceedings.

As of now, consultation seems to prevail penalization but it remains unclear how long this approach will be practiced. When in doubt, the best course of action is to seek additional advice on arbeit.swiss or from your local RAV.


Summing up it is certainly not all roses on the employment front when it comes to the JRR, in particular the scope of the affected jobs remains quite uncertain and has met with great discontent among businesses (cf. our previous blog for further details and recommendations). In view of January 2020, when the unemployment rate threshold will be reduced to 5%, the Federal Council has hence decided to revise the scope of jobs and refine the job types for the purpose of JRR. It seems likely that more clarity and further lessons will emerge in time – keep up with relevant developments and insights on this blog.

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