Switzerland’s unemployment benefits might be generous but they are strictly policed, as one recipient recently discovered.
For a period of up to approximately two years after losing a job, most workers in Switzerland receive 70% of their former salary up to a maximum of CHF 88,200 a year – the amount paid varies depending on circumstances1.
To continue receiving the benefit recipients must show they are actively looking for work and file progress reports with their local employment office within strict time limits.
In March 2018, an individual, who had followed all the rules for six months, filed his report one day late. The employment office decided that this slip up should cost him one day of unemployment benefit.
Unhappy, the man disputed the decision in a court that rules on disputes relating to welfare. This court overturned the sanction.
The employment office then took the case to the Federal Tribunal, Switzerland’s highest court, where the sanction was reinstated. The judges pointed to the law, which states the recipient must provide evidence they’re searching for work. In addition, they pointed out that the law provides no time extensions for reporting. Prior good behaviour can only be used to attenuate the severity of the sanction.
The Federal Tribunal requested the man pay CHF 300 in court costs.