All major Swiss payroll service providers for freelancers or contractors are digitalised: as in most offices, internally they no longer push paper. This has become mandatory due to home office rules during the current pandemic. Many also have customer facing “webshops” for exchanging documents (contracts, timesheets, payroll statements etc). Indeed some still push the “we are fully digitalised” as a USP, which is no longer the case.
Digitalisation in these service providers is a commodity. It is also mostly a tool of internal support – optimising efficiency, supporting volume business, and reducing errors. However:
- rubbish in, rubbish out: Payroll companies have to interact with reports to, and accounts from tax offices, insurers, social security offices, official government bodies etc. These B2B exchanges are still rarely coupled digitally with payroll service systems. On security and privacy grounds, time and work reports from client systems almost never offer any technical interface. To maintain basic quality resulting manual data input requires four eye checking which can be time consuming.
- Unlike a webshop selling goods, a payroll umbrella service provider is dealing with complex legal, tax and human situations requiring professional interaction: the scope of any online digital platform is in providing transfer of documents (contracts, timesheets, payrolls, expenses). This covers only a small fraction of the services required of a Swiss contract payroll service.
What are these services, in addition to basic payroll and document management? Investing in a job in Switzerland may seem lucrative, but it takes effort to get everything in place and keep it there. The following services are those that you will need from your provider when contracting in Switzerland which require personal professional service and cannot be provided on a purely digital platform:
- Advice on how employment law is interpreted in your particular situation
- Managing accidents and sickness.
- Applying for furlough and unemployment insurance.
- Individual optimisation for tax (depending on particular work and permit situation)
- Choice of pension (depending on personal situation and priorities)
- Financial forecasts depending on particular scenarios (for example effect of taking longer holidays, changing work weighting, moving canton)
- Applying for expense allowances
- Registering with foreign authorities in the case of missions abroad
- Providing employer references for mortgages etc
- Assisting and advising in case of strife at work
- Advice on personal tax returns, official letters received from authorities, expat tax issues, personal insurances and other local requirements.
Digitalisation can support people providing a contractor umbrella service, not replace them. This is especially so in Human Resources. Webshops work for selling goods like phones where the business does not need to service the customer. This is not the case with employment services – in fact the opposite. Beware those claiming to be disrupt the market with “fully digital platforms” thereby being the cheapest in the market. We have seen how this pans out in the airlines, but at least with the airlines there are stringent safety rules that budget airlines cannot break. This is not the case in the payroll services industry. Take a look at our checklist for those looking for a payroll services provider in Switzerland.
As Switzerland’s most trusted payroll provider, Accurity GmbH has over 20 years’ experience providing clients with the best advice about their payroll, pensions and social security and ensuring they make the right decisions. If you would like to speak with one of our team of experts, simply contact us now. If you are an international recruiter or PEO looking to work in the Swiss market, contact our team today to see how we can make Switzerland easy for you!