There are numerous types of permits in connection with employment relationships.
The primary focus is certainly on work and residence permits. However, the Labour law also stipulates authorisation procedures in connection with working hours.
This is only a selection of the necessary permits that must be taken into account when employing staff.
Work- and residence permit / notification procedure
When working or staying in Switzerland, it is always necessary to check which type of permit or notification procedure is required. With regard to EU or EFTA states, a notification procedure may also be an option in terms of service provision.
Especially in the case of third-country nationals (non-EU / non-EFTA), there are in principle many conditions that must be fulfilled in order to obtain a permit. An extension is not possible in every case and there are also various conditions. Based on the Posted Workers Act (PWA), Switzerland has defined accompanying measures that must be observed.
Even in the case of assignments abroad, it must always be clarified whether and what kind of permit is required for what time dimension. This is because each country has its own regulations. In addition to other criteria, these must also be taken into account if the employees can or could work from anywhere.
In the EU area, the EU Posted Workers Directive (PWD) must also be observed. These are also structured differently, even if the EU has set the framework. An A1 (social security posting) can already be required for one day in the other country.
Companies sometimes do not even realise that they are lending staff and therefore have to clarify exactly to what extent the occasional lending of their employees to the company that hires out leads to an obligation to obtain a permit. The consequences of not having a permit are at the very least a heavy fine for both the employer and the receiving company. A distinction is made between cantonal and federal permits. In addition to deposit payments, various criteria must be met.
A federal permit is required for staff lending to a company abroad. It is always necessary to clarify whether the host country permits the hiring out of personnel for a limited period of time, with conditions or not at all.
Staff leasing from abroad to Switzerland is prohibited. In company groups situations, it must therefore always be clarified whether secondments to Switzerland are a prohibited staff lease (e.g. specific project assignment under the leadership of a Swiss team with Swiss clients) or a permitted exchange of experience.
Working hours and further regulations
For companies that are subject to the labour law, a permit must be obtained from the competent authorities for night and Sunday work. In addition, the labour law contains further situations requiring a permit, which are not listed individually here.
For certain professions, a special authorisation is required.
Selection of important links
- Information about entry, residence and working in Switzerland
- Cantonal immigration and employment market authorities
- Employer’s job notification obligation (not available in English) Stellenmeldepflicht Arbeitgeber
- Working time permits (not available in English) Arbeitszeitbewilligungen
- Information about staff leasing
- Overview companies with staff leasing licence (not available in English) SECO-Seite Unternehmen mit Personalverleihlizenz
- Posting in Switzerland and accompanying measures (not available in English) Entsendung in die Schweiz und flankierende Massnahmen
- Posted workers EU