In February 2014 the initiative “Against mass immigration“ was adopted by Swiss voters. Parliament subsequently decided to introduce a job registration requirement for occupations with a high level of unemployment. Therefore, in December 2017, the Federal Council agreed on how to implement the Act for Implementing the Article of the Constitution for Managing Immigration (Art. 121a of the Federal Constitution) at ordinance level.
This is intended to better utilise the potential of the domestic workforce.
As from July 2018, Swiss employers will have to notify and register job vacancies with the competent RAV if the nationwide unemployment rate in the field of the vacant position exceeds 8%. From 1 January 2020, the unemployment rate threshold will be lowered to 5%. This two-phase implementation is intended to ensure a smooth transition for both employers and cantonal administrations.
Jobseekers registered with the RAV are informed first about vacancies in occupations with a high level of unemployment. This will give them a five-day head start over other candidates in which to apply. It will also allow the RAV to send employers a list of suitable candidates.
Jobs can be registered quickly and simply by the employers via the travail.swiss portal, where companies can also find relevant information such as the professions concerned by the obligation. The job registration should be as precise as possible and contain the following information:
occupation sought, activity, technical requirements, methodological skills required, personal skills required, place of work, level of employment, start date, type of contract: fixed-term or permanent, contact address, name of employer.
The new rules also require RAVs to propose suitable candidates for a vacancy within three working days of being notified of the position. Employers will then assess the candidates independently and interview any suitable candidates. Employers must then inform the RAV if a candidate has been hired or if the job is still available. No explanation is necessary where the candidate is unsuccessful.
Violations of the registration requirement may be punishable by a monetary penalty of up to CHF 40,000. If the violation occurred due to negligence, the maximum penalty is CHF 20,000.
The job vacancy has to be exclusively published for five working days on an online job portal that can only be accessed by jobseekers registered with the RAV before it can be advertised elsewhere (even on the company website).
Notifications are not necessary in the following situations:
Employees (including interns) changing a job within the same company such as for a promotion (a minimum period of employment duration of six months is required);
Continued employment of apprentices after the end of an apprenticeship;
Temporary positions not exceeding 14 days or urgent vacancies; and
Employment of close relatives, e. g. for family owned companies.
Job vacancies are also subject to the registration requirement if recruitment is carried out through an employment agency or headhunter. Responsibility for registering the job lies with the employer unless it charged the agency with this task when the contract was awarded. If the employer charges an employment agency or headhunter with this task, the identity of the employer must be disclosed to the public employment service.