There are now almost 400’000 workers engaged on a temporary basis in Switzerland. These workers fall under the so-called “GAV” (DE) or Collective Labour Agreement (EN) – for temporary work. What many temporary workers don’t know however, is that under the CLA, they are entitled to training allowances of up to CHF5’000 – even if they only work for a few days!
We live in a dynamic world where job titles change almost as quickly as social media trends. And supporting job change is a need for training. This is expensive in Switzerland but thankfully those who work temporarily can receive support through a special training fund, so they don’t have to pay for it.
So – who is considered a temporary employee?
To be eligible for training support, workers must have worked at least 88 hours in a temporary posiiton in the last twelve months. Once that is established, then the amount the temporary worker is entitled to depends on the total number of hours worked. For example:
- After 88 hours, the worker is entitled to CHF 500 in continuing education benefits
- After 880 hours, the amount rises to the maximum allowance of CHF 5’000.
- After the end of temporary work, the accumulated entitlements continue for six months.
There are some additional requirements. These are:
- The temporary worker must be subject to the Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) for Staff Leasing.
- The training must keep the applicants ready for the job market, or help them advance professionally.
- The training must take place at one of the 600 recognised schools, or with a career advisor in Switzerland that is recognised by the “Temptraining” Fund (see below).
- At the time of submitting the application, the training must not have started yet.
- The Temptraining fund subsidises training for temporary workers, subject to the CBA Staff Leasing.
- The Fund is backed by the contractual partners Angestellte Schweiz, Swissstaffing, Syna, Unia and the Kaufmännische Verband.
- Fund financing comes jointly from the staff leasing companies (0.3 percent of wages) and the employees (0.7 percent of wages).
FAQ – Temporary and Training Education
- How do I apply? Assuming the temporary worker meets all the conditions, they can select a course provider from the education directory. Once a course has been selected, then an application must be submitted. The application must be received before training begins.
- What about payment? Once the application is approved, the participants pay for the course in advance and are then reimbursed at the end of the course upon request.
- I don’t have any basic training – can I still participate? One of the main questions asked is: is it possible to participate in a course even without any basic training? The answer to this is “yes” and around 40% of course participants do not have any form of basic training.
- Can I train in a completely new field? The choice of further training is free for the temporary employee – retraining is possible. The consent of the staffing company or the company of assignment is not necessary for this.
According to Marius Osterfeld – Head of Economics & Policy at Swissstaffing, there have been around 111,000 applications since 2012. And the fund has disbursed continuing education grants of up to nearly CHF 100 million francs in value since that time.
It is often said that one should commit to lifelong learning in an ongoing, voluntary, and self motivated pursuit of knowledge for either personal or professional reasons. The changing dynamics in our world only serve to support this statement. And with the Swiss Temptraining fund available, there is no reason for temporary workers to not pursue further education and broaden their minds.
Albert Einstein the brilliant theoretical physicist once said – “Education is not the learning of the facts, but the training of the mind to think”.
Accurity GmbH is a professional employer organisation (PEO) based in Zurich. We lease contractors under the Collective Labour Agreement for temporary work with the Association of Recruitment Agencies, or Swissstaffing and thereby contribute toward the Temptraining fund.
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