From 1 July 2018, Swiss employers must present certain jobs to unemployed workers in Switzerland before offering them to foreigners.
The requirement kicks in when unemployment for particular job types reaches 8% – this threshold will fall to 5% on 1 January 2020.
Last week, the list of jobs with unemployment of 8% or more was published. The 19 categories below contain 263 more specific roles.
- Agricultural workers
- Shop and manual workers
- Other processing and manufacturing professions
- Cement mixers and cement construction workers
- Other professions in the construction industry
- Insulation workers
- Public relations specialists
- Marketing specialists
- Messengers and errand runners
- Telephone operators
- Service staff
- Maids, lingerie staff and caretakers
- Kitchen staff
- House workers
- Undefined manual workers
Employers looking for staff on this list must first contact the unemployment office. The office then has 5 working days to present suitable local candidates.
Employers can check local hiring preference requirements on the website arbeit.swiss.
The list of jobs above could also serve as an indicator of careers to avoid. Some jobs are fast becoming obsolete. And others, often low-skilled ones, are suffering from an excess supply of workers.
The new rule, which was agreed by Switzerland’s government last year, is considered by some, Brussels in particular, as an acceptable way of implementing the February 2014 vote to limit migration into Switzerland. The main target of this initiative was the EU agreement on free movement of people. However, Brussels insisted the bilateral agreements Switzerland has with the EU are an all or nothing package. Any move to end free movement would bring an end to all of them, including those on trade.
This is unlikely to be the end of the EU immigration story. Signature collection started in January 2018 for a new initiative that would ask Swiss voters whether or not they want to keep the agreement between the EU and Switzerland on free movement of people – full initiative text.