Due to the significant increase in unemployment from March 2020 onwards, caused by the COVID-19 crisis, the number of reportable professions for the year 2021 has increased compared to the previous year.

In Switzerland, job vacancies in all professions and industries with an employment rate of 5% or more must be reported with the local unemployment office 5 days prior to publishing the position on any job portal. Non-compliance with the rules may result in fines on the employer, therefore employers are advised to amend their recruiting process taking into consideration the registration requirements.

The Federal Department of Economics, Education and Research (WBF) has recently confirmed the list of notifiable professions for the year 2021. Due to the significant surge in unemployment from March 2020, caused by the COVID-19 crisis, the number of reportable professions for the year 2021 has increased compared to the previous year.

The following occupations are added to the list from 2021:

  • Managers in sales and marketing
  • Technical sales staff (excluding information and communication technology), engineering
  • Sales specialists (field sales representatives, sales experts)
  • Conference and event planners
  • Chefs, deputy chefs and sous-chefs
  • Cooks
  • Chefs de service, service assistants in restaurants and barkeepers
  • Cleaning and housekeeping managers and staff in offices, hotels and other facilities
  • Security service personnel
  • Roofers
  • Floor and tile layers
  • Welders and flame cutters
  • Metal polishers, cylindrical grinders and tool sharpeners
  • Watch workers
  • Motor vehicle drivers (without truck drivers)
  • Driver of construction machines
  • Laborers in the fishing industry

The full list of the concerned professions and industries for 2021 can be found here.

Apart from the threshold reduction to 5%, however, the reporting requirements in 2020 have remained unchanged and are defined as follows:

  • For a limited period of five working days, the positions in the affected professional categories will be accessible only to individuals registered with a cantonal public unemployment office. Employers are not permitted to advertise the job vacancies on other platforms until the expiration of the aforementioned period.
  • Cantonal unemployment offices will communicate all suitable candidates to employers during the first three working days following the publication of these job vacancies.
  • Employers are required to inform the cantonal unemployment office if any referred candidate is selected to partake in the interview process but are not required to provide justification in the event that none of the referred candidates are deemed to be suitable for the position.

The primary exceptions to employers’ reporting obligations have also remained identical.

  • The vacant position is filled by a current employee already working at the company or in the group, including interns and apprentices demonstrating a minimum employment duration of six months.
  • The duration of the employment contract does not exceed 14 days.
  • The vacant position is filled by a close relative of the company’s owner, such as a spouse, registered partner, or sibling.

Fines of up to CHF 40,000 are imposed in the event of major non‑compliance violations, while minor infractions incur a CHF 20,000 penalty.

Next steps and outlook

Prior to announcing the position, employers are well advised to do a check-up online for the required position to ensure whether the registration obligations apply in this specific profession. Furthermore, it is recommended to amend the recruiting process to ensure compliance with the registration requirement.

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