Posted Workers in Switzerland: Obligations for the employer 2022
The Federal Assembly of the Swiss Confederation introduced the Posted Workers Act to oblige employers located abroad to comply with the provisions of Swiss labor law. It seeks to guarantee the working conditions and minimum wage of workers during their stay.
For an EU company to lease foreign employees, a work permit is required both within and outside Switzerland. The employer must be established in Switzerland to obtain the permit.
The Posting of Workers Act requires the following conditions for the posting of employees:
- The employer must pay a bond of the collective bargaining agreement (CHF 10'000)
- European entrepreneurs are obliged to register for VAT purposes.
- A notice must be sent 8 days prior to starting work
- Must comply with canton labor legislation
According to article 623 of the Posted Workers Act, the employer must notify the designated authorities at least 8 days before the posting. This written notification must contain the activity to be performed and the place where the work will be carried out.
Another requirement is the filling out of the registration document specifying the working hours, which must comply with GAV specifications depending on the sector of work. In the case of special hours and days, prior authorization will be required.
The employer is obliged to comply with collective bargaining agreements such as work and rest periods, minimum wage, vacation compensation, vacation days, protection at work, and non-discrimination.
The employer must pay the minimum wage following federal law. In Switzerland there is no national minimum wage, variations of the Swiss minimum wage are established according to collective agreements (VAG) or the Law of the canton. For this purpose, it is recommended to use the salary calculator in which individually a salary will be established according to age, education, job, and the area where the employee will be located.
Likewise, the employer must cover the costs of lodging, travel, and meals, complying with the measures prescribed by law. Those cases in which the work takes less than 8 days are exempted from minimum requirements for remuneration and vacations.
For those workers who spend more than 90 days per year working in Switzerland, a residence permit is required. Otherwise, the notification and register online of the employee it’s enough.
Inspectors can periodically inspect whether the established standards are being met, and the employer is obliged to allow them access at any time. In these inspections, it is expected to have on hand the service commission contracts, A1 Certificate, and updated and accurate maintenance of time records. If these documents cannot be presented, a maximum of 2 days will be granted. In case of non-compliance, the employer may be fined.
According to Swiss law, penalties for non-compliance can range from a ban on doing business in Switzerland to fines of up to CHF 1 million or imprisonment. The penalty will be imposed depending on the violation.