Agencies paying social welfare in Switzerland will be able to hire detectives to uncover fraud from 1 October 2019.
In Switzerland, between 2009 and 2016, detectives were used on around 220 investigations a year. Two thirds of those trailed were found guilty of fraud.
In 2016, the European court of human rights ruled that accident beneficiaries should not be tracked because there was no defined Swiss legal framework covering the practice. Then in 2017, the Federal Tribunal, Switzerland’s highest court, ruled against the practice for disability beneficiaries too. The government then produced new laws to clarify what is possible and what is not.
Many people objected to the new laws so it was put to a vote. On 25 November 2018 64.7% of Swiss voters voted in favor of the new laws, paving the way for detectives to resume their investigative work.
Detectives must be sufficiently qualified, authorized and meet a series of conditions. In addition, the places where someone can be observed are limited to freely accessible areas. The person being followed must be informed and data confidentiality and security must be guaranteed.
The new laws will come into effect on 1 October 2019.