Unemployed in Switzerland

In Switzerland, there is generally a low unemployment. The financial downturn has however in recent years just as in many other countries left its mark in business. Cutbacks, streamlining and outsourcing combined with a high Swiss currency have made more people unemployed in Switzerland.

Unemployment insurance in Switzerland
Should you be hit by unemployment, the “safety net” is different from many other countries. It is not least due to the unemployment insurance (ALV) being mandatory in Switzerland. Contributions to the insurance are settled automatically by the employer and split 50/50 between employer and employee. The contributions are thus part of the first pillar of social security costs and represent approximately 2.2% of the registered AHV salary.

People exempted from the compulsory unemployment insurance in Switzerland are generally:

– Certain people in agriculture

– Men and women who have reached the official retirement age

To be eligible for unemployment benefits you must further meet the following conditions:

– Be unemployed

– Be covered by a financially measured unemployment rate

– Be a resident of Switzerland

– Not having reached the official retirement age

– Have worked for at least 12 months

– Be available for work


Unemployment benefits in Switzerland
The amount you get paid is called daily benefits or simply unemployment benefits. The actual amount paid is calculated from AHV-salary (insured salary) in the previous 6 or 12 months.

How much is paid?
Based on an average calculation, daily allowances are calculated and the insured salary cannot exceed CHF 10,500 per. month. After this, 70% of the insured salary is paid for a maximum of 24 months. 80% of the insured salary may be paid if the unemployed have any children under 25 years living at their household. After the unemployment benefit has ceased, you can apply for a cash benefit, should you not have found a new job.

Example 1:

A person who is dismissed with a salary of CHF 150,000 p.a. can receive a maximum of 126,000 (maximum) x 70% = 88,200 per year for two years.

Example 2:

A person who is dismissed with a salary of CHF 75,000 p.a. can receive a maximum of 75,000 x 70% = 52,500 per year for two years.

Waiting period for unemployment in Switzerland
Obtaining unemployment benefits require a certain waiting period. The waiting period is dependent on the insured salary and commonly lasts 5-20 days after the resignation.

Remember that if you are not reporting yourself unemployed by the day after you have resigned, the pay-out period is reduced.

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