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  • Notification procedure for postings from EU/EFTA countries lasting no more than 90 work days per calendar year

  • What is the notification procedure and when is it applied?

  • How do I submit notification?

  • Can the online notification be filled in by someone else, such as the client for whom the work will be performed?

    • Yes. However, the posting company is solely responsible for its accuracy and completeness. Incorrect or incomplete notifications may result in sanctions for the posting employer.

  • The notification procedure is limited to postings up to 90 days. How is the number of days calculated?

    • Separate 90-day limits apply to companies and workers. If a company posts three workers on the same five days, it has used only five of its 90 days. In other words, it does not matter how many workers are posted on each day. What counts is the number of days on which any workers are posted.

      Workers themselves are also subject to a 90-day limit. If one company has already posted a certain worker to Switzerland for 90 days, no other company can post them to Switzerland within that same calendar year – the worker has used up their 90 days.

  • If a work assignment is shortened or cancelled, the actual number of days worked will be fewer than the number indicated in the notification. What must I do to ensure that the unused work days are not deducted from my annual 90-day allotment for permit-free work?

    • Inform the competent cantonal authority by e-mail or fax immediately using the contact details on your notification confirmation. If you contact them no later than noon, the current day will not be counted as a work day. Work days, which are difficult to verify after the fact, will be credited back retroactively only in exceptional cases.

  • How do I notify the authorities if I make any changes such as postponing or extending an assignment, posting different or additional workers, resuming work or performing follow-up work?

    • This is explained in Section 3.3.7 of the directives and explanations on the gradual introduction of freedom of movement for persons (FMIO directives) (available in DE, FR, IT).

      Please note that if you change the location of an assignment, you will be subject to another eight-day waiting period before work can begin.

  • In emergencies, the eight-day waiting period may be shortened, although work may not begin before notification is submitted. What is considered an emergency?

    • Emergencies must be reported to the competent cantonal authority. You must declare and justify it when submitting notification for the assignment.

      The following broad guidelines apply. Firstly, the purpose of the assignment must be to repair unforeseen damage and prevent any further damage. Secondly, the assignment must begin immediately, usually no later than three days after the damage occurred.

      Additional information relating to emergencies is found in Section 3.3.5 of the directives and explanations on the gradual introduction of freedom of movement for persons (FMIO directives) (available in DE, FR, IT).

  • Do I have to submit notification if I am only delivering goods without assembly?

    • No, you do not need to submit notification if your delivery of goods does not entail any assembly. Please contact the labour-market authority of the canton in which you are delivering goods for more details on the dividing line between delivery of goods and service provision.

  • Where can I find additional information on the notification procedure?

    • For more information, contact the competent body for your particular case, or the cantonal labour-market and migration authorities.

      General information is available from the State Secretariat for Migration and in the directives and explanations on the gradual introduction of freedom of movement for persons (FMIO directives) (available in DE, FR, IT).

  • Compliance with minimum working and pay conditions when posting workers under the notification procedure

  • What minimum working and pay conditions must I comply with when posting workers to Switzerland?

    • Pursuant to Article 2 of the Posted Workers Act (PWA) employers must, at the very least, guarantee posted workers the working and pay conditions prescribed by Swiss federal acts, Federal Council ordinances, generally applicable collective employment contracts or standard contracts stipulating mandatory minimum pay in accordance with Article 360a of the Code of Obligations (CO). These prescribed conditions concern:

      • Minimum pay
      • Work and rest periods
      • Minimum annual paid holiday
      • Occupational health and safety
      • Protection of pregnant women, women who have recently given birth, children and young people
      • Non-discrimination, in particular gender equality

      In some cases, posting companies may also be subject to additional requirements laid down by generally applicable collective employment contracts, such as contributions to funds securing pay entitlements, mandatory contributions to enforcement or training costs, surety bonds or contractual penalties.

      Finally, employers must guarantee posted workers accommodation that meets the usual standards of hygiene and comfort (Art. 3 PWA).

      Exceptions are made in two cases. The first is if the work to be performed is limited in scope. The second is in the case of assembly or initial installation work lasting less than eight days and forming part of the contract for product delivery. In these two instances, foreign companies posting workers are exempt from the minimum Swiss requirements regarding pay and holiday entitlement.

      Use the pay calculator on posting.admin.ch to calculate specific minimum pay requirements.

  • How do I know which generally applicable collective employment contract or which professional category within such a contract applies to me?

    • Take this survey to identify the collective employment contract that applies in your case. You can also view the full list of federal and cantonal collective employment contracts that have been declared generally applicable.

      Select the collective employment contract you believe applies to you and read it carefully, paying attention to its geographical scope, the categories of people subject to it, the current pay and expense provisions, and so forth. If you have any questions, contact the social partners committee responsible for enforcing the generally applicable collective employment contract.

  • Why do I have to pay enforcement fees?

    • Enforcement fees are contributions paid by employers and workers who are party to a collective employment contract in order to cover the costs of inspecting and enforcing compliance with said contract. Foreign employers posting workers to Switzerland must also pay these fees.

  • How do I know that the salary I pay my worker meets the pay requirements in Switzerland?

    • First, you must calculate the pay owed to your worker in Switzerland, including any supplements for holiday, bank holidays and so forth. This information is available in the applicable collective employment contract or, easier yet, by using our minimum wage calculator.

      Once you have done this, compare the results of this calculation to the pay formula in your country of origin. Please consult the SECO directive on international wage comparison (available in DE, FR, IT), as well as the calculation example, for details on how pay is calculated for comparison purposes.

  • Where can I obtain additional information?

    • The competent social partners committee will answer any questions relating to collective employment contracts and the minimum working and pay conditions therein. Contact the labour-market authority of the canton in which you will be providing services for questions concerning standard employment contracts that stipulate mandatory minimum pay, as well as any additional questions relating to the usual pay in a given location, profession or industry.

  • Frequently asked questions on the topic of "wage calculator"

  • What are the differences between the national wage calculator and the minimum wage calculator?

    • The minimum wage calculator on www.entsendung.admin.ch calculates the binding minimum wage for a specific individual profile in sectors with generally binding collective labor agreements. In sectors without generally binding collective labor agreements, cantonal tripartite commissions check the compliance with local, professional and sector-specific customary wages. The cantonal tripartite commissions have the legal mandate to determine the customary wages and can rely on various sources. The national wage calculator is one source for determining the customary wages. It estimates a wage range for a specific individual profile and can be used by the tripartite commissions - depending on the case they work on - as an indication of customary wages.
      The minimum wage calculator contains effectively negotiated minimum wages. The national wage calculator, on the other hand, estimates a wage range and hereby publishes a strictly statistical result (not binding).

  • How does the national wage calculator work?

    • The national wage calculator is based on data from the Swiss Earnings Structure Survey (ESS) of the Federal Statistical Office (FSO). The ESS is a written survey, carried out every two years in Swiss companies. It allows a regular description of the earnings structure in all economic activities of the secondary and tertiary sectors based on representative data. It not only enquires after the economic activity and the size of the firm concerned, but also the individual characteristics of employees and their jobs.
      By applying regression analysis methods on ESS data, the relationship between selected wage-determining characteristics and the observed wage actually paid is reduced to a mathematical formula, the so-called wage equation. For 36 aggregated sectors, a regression model based on multiple explanatory variables estimates the logarithm of the monthly gross wage. Only characteristics directly linked to productivity (years of seniority as a function, age as a function, education, group of occupation and professional position) are taken into account for the calculation of wage ranges. Socio-demographic characteristics such as gender, nationality or residence status are deliberately excluded, as they could have a potential for discrimination.
      It is well known that wages differ not only based on individual wage-determining characteristics, but can also vary considerably for identical employees depending on the company and region. Finally, in order to consider these observed differences, a so-called company effect is calculated for each company in a chosen sector. This corresponds to the average influence of specific company characteristics that are independent of the personal characteristics of the employees. It consists of the effect linked to the region, the effect linked to the size of the company and finally the effect linked to the company's wage policy. The company effects thus recorded, weighted by full-time equivalent employees, are ranked by size and used to calculate the dispersion of wages. The model isolates and thus measures the average impact of the characteristics relevant to work performance and, after calculating the so-called company effect, makes it possible to estimate a wage range for a specific individual profile.
      The national wage calculator is therefore not a tool for evaluating purely descriptive statistics, but rather a calculator, which estimates a wage range, based on a model for an individual profile.
      Further information on the specification of the mathematical model can be found at www.entsendung.admin.ch/Lohnrechner => “Calculation method” or on request at info.paam@seco.admin.ch

  • What are the differences between the national wage calculator and the wage calculator Salarium of the FSO?

    • What both wage calculators have in common is that they make use of the Swiss Earnings Structure Survey (ESS). Both also use the wage equation method to estimate a wage spread. They thus determine the effect of person-, job-, and firm-specific characteristics on wages.
      Since both wage calculators were created in different contexts and pursue different purposes, different models are stored for the wage calculators. For example, the different calculation models have different characteristics that influence the estimated wage range, which in turn leads to different results. In addition, the results are displayed on different geographical levels (cantons vs. major regions).
      Last but not least, the national wage calculator is intended to provide foreign companies posting employees to Switzerland with an indication of the wages in Switzerland that are customary for the location, profession and industry. The national wage calculator is closely geared to the implementation of the flanking measures to the free movement of persons and was developed in this specific context. A distinction according to gender or nationality would not be appropriate in this context.
      The Salarium calculator of the Federal Statistic Office also offers the possibility of calculating the gross monthly wage and the distribution of wages in an interactive way, for a specific job and based on freely selectable individual characteristics. However, the results are displayed by gender, residence permit and nationality. The issue of gender pay differentials, or residence status pay differentials, is therefore more important in the Salarium than in the national wage calculator. The Salarium's objective is to reflect wage levels as accurately as possible according to empirical ESS data. To this end, all explanatory factors available for wage setting (including gender, for example) are taken into account in the calculation.

  • When does the national wage calculator display results?

    • A wage range is displayed on the national wage calculator if the following criteria are met in the selected industry and display level (canton, labour market region, major region and Switzerland):

      • At least 10 business units and at least 150 observations.
      • The coefficient of variation may not exceed 5%.
      • The thresholds differ from each other (p25≠p50, p50≠p75 or p25≠p50≠p75),
      If the display conditions are met, a wage range is displayed for the selected canton (26) for the selected profile and, for comparison purposes, a wage range is always displayed at the national level. If this is not possible on the selected canton level, the wage ranges of the respective labour market regions (16) to which the canton or at least parts of the canton belong, are displayed. If a display at this level is also not possible, the wage range of the respective major region (7) is displayed.

  • How have wages been evolving recently?

    • The Swiss wage index (SWI) measures annual growth in the gross nominal and real wages of employees working in Switzerland. It enables calculation of growth rate in nominal and real wages of men and women in the economy as a whole, in the secondary and tertiary sectors or in a certain economic activity or group of activities over a given period of time. Further information can be found at www.bfs.admin.ch.

  • Inspections and sanctions

  • What happens during a workplace inspection? What accompanying documentation should workers posted to Switzerland carry on them?

    • Both the cantonal tripartite committees and the social partners committees receive copies of your notification and may carry out a workplace inspection in Switzerland.

      During such inspections, posted workers are first asked to provide proof of their identity, after which they will be interviewed. It is recommended that you provide posted workers with documents proving your compliance with working and pay conditions, such as work reports containing information on working hours, travel and break times.

  • What sanctions apply if I, as a foreign employer posting a worker, fail to comply with requirements?

  • Other questions

  • Who is considered as a self-employed service provider and how can I prove my self-employed status?

    • Self-employed service providers are companies or individuals whose registered office or residence is located in an EU or EFTA country and who provide cross-border services in Switzerland on their own behalf (i.e. not as a subordinate). Usually they take the form of sole proprietorships in which the owner provides the cross-border services themselves. If a self-employed service provider posts workers to Switzerland, the general requirements applicable to companies apply to them as well.

      If you claim self-employment, you must be able to provide proof upon request of the competent inspecting body. During a workplace inspection, you must present a copy of your notification confirmation or permit, form A1 and a copy of the contract with the client or customer in one of Switzerland's official languages. If no written contract exists, written confirmation from the client or customer must be submitted. If you are unable to present these documents, you may be fined or prohibited from continuing to work.

      Please note that even if you are considered self-employed in your country of origin, you may not be considered as such in Switzerland according to Swiss law. If your status remains unclear, the inspecting bodies may require you to submit further documents to prove self-employment.

  • What must I do if I want to provide services in Switzerland for more than 90 work days per calendar year?

    • The Agreement on the Free Movement of Persons does not recognise any legal entitlement to cross-border service provision exceeding 90 work days per calendar year, unless a special service agreement exists between Switzerland and the EU (in the case of public procurement, for example). Authorisation for service provision beyond the 90-day limit is granted at the discretion of the competent cantonal authority. Only the service authorised may be provided. Authorisation is granted in accordance with the Foreign Nationals Act (Art. 18–26 FNA).

      For more information on work permits, please contact the State Secretariat for Migration or the competent cantonal work or immigration authorities.

  • What must I consider when posting trainees?

    • Trainees posted to Switzerland fall under the Posted Workers Act. Swiss pay and working conditions therefore apply. In certain industries, the generally applicable collective employment contract contains pay provisions for trainees. If no such provisions exist, the usual pay for that industry and location apply.

      Certain conditions must be met for Swiss authorities to recognise a traineeship as such, allowing for trainee pay. The inspecting bodies will examine whether the trainee's activities are educational in nature or if there is a mentoring relationship between the trainee and employer. In addition, they will consider whether the trainee relationship is temporary.

  • Can foreign workers be posted to Switzerland through a staffing agency or on a temporary contract?

    • In Switzerland, neither direct nor indirect staffing from abroad is permitted. You may post workers under the Agreement on the Free Movement of Persons only if the worker has an employment contract with you, the posting company. It is prohibited to post agency workers.

  • Are there any special requirements for postings within the financial services industry?

    • The Agreement on the Free Movement of Persons does not provide for any deregulation of financial services. You must contact the competent financial market supervisory authority in advance for any postings within this industry to determine whether authorisation is required.

  • As a Croatian national, can I work in Switzerland?

    • Croatian service providers (posted workers or self-employed service providers) who are based in Croatia and who provide services in Switzerland for up to 90 days in a given calendar year must use the notification procedure. The notification procedure is limited to services provided in the general service branches. The cantonal authorities must receive the notification no later than eight days before the work begins. The general notification rules apply.

      However, during the transitional period, Croatian citizens providing services in Switzerland must obtain a work permit, from the first day of work, if the services are in any of the following four economic branches:

      • Structural and secondary contract work
      • Gardening and landscaping
      • Cleaning work in companies
      • Security services

  • How can I determine which Swiss vocational qualification corresponds to my foreign qualification?

    • The State Secretariat for Education, Research and Innovation (SERI) is the primary source of information regarding the recognition of foreign qualifications. Follow the link above to learn more about this topic. Information sheet E1 provides details on the recognition procedure and the related competent authorities.

  • As a foreign company posting workers to Switzerland, am I liable for Swiss VAT?

    • Yes. You must pay Swiss VAT for any work performed in Switzerland. You are exempt from VAT only if your total taxable revenue earned in Switzerland per year is less than CHF 100,000. For VAT registration and additional information click here: DE, FR, IT.

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