The Effect of Coronavirus on Employment in Switzerland

Frequently Asked Questions (updated 2nd May 2022)

Hospitalisations and deaths remain low in Switzerland. On 2 May all restrictions inside and incoming to the country have been lifted.

How does the Coronavirus still affect you as an employer or employee in Switzerland?

This FAQ answers the most important questions still arising and has been updated as the COVID situation has developed. You are welcome to bookmark and follow us on linkedin or facebook. Please note the information below is provided without guarantee or warranty.

What are the COVID rules for entering Switzerland, and are work permits being issued?

As of 2 May 2022 all health related restrictions for entry are lifted and no entry form has to be filled. For details see the Swiss federal Public Health site.

Can employees on a Swiss payroll work from home abroad if they cannot come to Switzerland due to Swiss health regulations?

During the Covid special rules, if an employee was prevented from coming to Switzerland from their location abroad under Swiss health rules, they may work from home abroad and still remain on the Swiss payroll. As soon as the Swiss health rules allow them to come to Switzerland, they could no longer work abroad and had to come to work in Switzerland for which they may need a work permit.

Now that the Special Swiss COVID rules for entry are no more, the above exception is no longer generally allowed. Any such exception needs to be verified on an individual basis with the Swiss Federal Office of Public Health.

Can an employer still lay off an employee or terminate their employment during a Coronavirus lock down?

The notice period and rules for termination by employer or employee remain unchanged due to Coronavirus. A fixed term employment contract ends on the pre-determined end date unless extended. An employee cannot be served notice while off sick, but this has not been extended to also apply to someone who is not sick but just quarantined.

Is there special financial help for employees terminated due to Coronavirus?

Anyone who loses their job, regardless of nationality and work contract can receive benefit at 80% salary as long as they have worked in Switzerland or the EU/EFTA/UK for a minimum qualifying period. In the first instance you need to contact your local employment office. In Zürich a good place to start is

https://awa.zh.ch/internet/volkswirtschaftsdirektion/awa/de/arbeitsmarkt/beratung_im_rav/rav_standorte/stadt_zuerich.html

Can an employer claim short-time work (furlough) compensation for employees as a consequence of the current situation.

Compensation for short-time working (furloughing) is no longer supported under special COVID-19 rules after 31 March 2022.

Where can I find more information on the Coronavirus in Switzerland?

This FAQ is compiled based on facts from the following sources:

Federal Ordinance on COVID-19
Centre Patronal
SECO
State Secretariat for Migration

If you have further questions feel free to contact us.

If you have any further questions please don’t hesitate to contact us. We are always interested to know what people are concerned about regarding Swiss employment.

Please note the above information is provided without guarantee or warranty. Employment, tax and pension laws are dependent on your specific situation and can change quickly. To be sure of the facts always contact us directly for a verified up to date answer.