Since July 1, 2018, employers in Switzerland have an obligation to register certain open positions with the relevant regional unemployment center (so-called "RAV" in German, "ORP" in French or "URC" in Italian). This obligation currently applies to positions concerning professions for which the unemployment rate in Switzerland is above 8%. As of January 1, 2020, however, the threshold will be lowered to 5%. The duty to register open positions was introduced as a consequence of the approval of the popular initiative "Against mass immigration" by Swiss voters in 2014 and sets out new obligations for employers with a presence in Switzerland.
Scope of the Registration Requirement
Open positions for professions subject to the registration requirement have to be communicated to the competent RAV. The Swiss government has published a list of the professions for which open positions currently have to be registered (currently not available in English). This list is valid until December 31, 2019 and includes for example marketing and PR professionals, receptionists or professionals in the construction industry. In addition, the Swiss Government has created an online tool where affected professions can be searched, also by indicating the relevant canton. The obligation to register applies also to internships which are not part of a course or a training program, provided that the relevant profession is subject to the registration requirement.
Vacancies can be registered with the competent RAV online, by email, phone or in person. Even if recruitment is carried out through an employment agency or headhunter, the responsibility for registering the job remains with the employer.
Upon registration, a description of the functions and requirements for the specific position needs to be provided. This description must include the following information:
- occupation sought
- activity, including special requirements such as technical requirements, methodological skills required, social skills required and personal skills required
- place of work
- level of employment
- start date
- type of contract: fixed-term or permanent
- contact address
- name of employer
After registration, the open position will be published by the RAV on an online job portal, which is only accessible for jobseekers registered with the RAV. Within three working days, the RAV will provide a list of suitable candidates for the position or inform the employer that no suitable candidates are available. The employer has to review this list and inform the RAV which candidates it deems suitable and have been invited for a job interview as well as whether a candidate has been employed. No reasons for relevant decisions have to be provided.
The position can only be published elsewhere after five working days. This five-day publication ban starts on the working day after the RAV confirmed receipt of the job notification. Aside from these requirements, employers are, however, free how to conduct their recruitment processes.
Exceptions from the Registration Requirement
The employer does not have a duty to register vacancies filled by jobseekers registered with the RAV. Moreover, there is no registration requirement in the following situations:
- the open position has been filled by staff employed by the relevant company, association of companies or group for at least six months;
- the employment will last for a maximum of 14 days; or
- a person connected with an authorized signatory in the company through marriage or registered partnership, or through blood or through marriage in a straight line up to the first degree of collateral line is employed.
The cantonal authorities are responsible for ensuring compliance by employers with the registration requirement. Violations of the duty to register open positions are reported to criminal prosecution authorities and are punishable by a personal fine of up to CHF 40,000. The fine will be imposed upon the responsible individual within the employer.
Since July 1, 2018, employers with a presence in Switzerland are required to register certain open positions with the regional unemployment center. The extent to which an individual employer is affected by this obligation will depend above all on the sectors in which it is active. In any case, employers with a presence in Switzerland should carefully analyze the new regulations and, where necessary, review and adapt HR processes to ensure compliance with the new regulatory framework.