Notification procedure for short-term work in Switzerland

Keywords: Employment market

Online notification

Direct access to the notification procedure for short-term work:

Notification procedure for Croatian nationals providing services in Switzerland: please see tab "Croatia"

The competent cantonal authorities in the location where the worker is posted or where the services are to be rendered in Switzerland will process the notification form and are available to answer any questions.

Notification rules

The Agreement on the Free Movement of Persons (AFMP) between Switzerland and the EU is aimed at liberalising the cross-border provision of services (posted workers or self-employed service providers) for up to 90 effective working days per calendar year. All that is required is prior submission of a notification form. The 90 working days per calendar year rule are calculated both for the company posting workers and for the posted worker.

 

For services to be rendered beyond this 90-day threshold, a work permit is required. There is no legal entitlement to this permit, however.

 

The online notification procedure also applies to companies based in Switzerland that would like to employ foreign workers for periods of up to three months. All that is required is submission of a notification form. If the intention is to employ a worker for longer than three months, then this person must request a Swiss residence permit or must satisfy the requirements for issuance of a cross-border commuter permit.

Companies or self-employed service providers must first create a user profile in the system. Each assignment carried out in Switzerland must be entered into the system at least eight days prior to commencement of work. For foreign workers taking up short-term employment with a company based in Switzerland (work contracts of up to three months in duration), the notification form must be submitted no later than one day prior to the first day of work.

After the ratification of protocol III, the AFMP has been extended to Croatia on 1 January 2017. During the first implementation period, transitory provisions with restrictions regarding the access to the labour market are applied to Croatian nationals and companies based in Croatia. More information regarding these measures can be found under "Croatia".

The competent cantonal authorities in the location where the worker is posted or where the services are to be rendered in Switzerland will process the notification form and are available to answer any questions.

Access to the online notification procedure 

User’s handbook (Practical instructions on how to submit notification forms)

Contact details of cantonal authorities for the notification procedure
(German)

The following categories of individuals are authorised to work in Switzerland for up to three months or 90 days per calendar year by virtue of the notification procedure:

  • EU-27/EFTA nationals who have been employed to work in Switzerland by a company based in Switzerland for a period of up to three months
  • Posted workers from a company based in an EU-27/EFTA member state, regardless of this worker’s citizenship. Third-state nationals, however, must have been admitted permanently in a labour market of an EU/EFTA member state before being sent to Switzerland. Generally speaking, this criterion is deemed to have been met if the individual has held a standard or permanent residence permit in that country for at least twelve months.
  • Self-employed service providers (EU-27/EFTA nationals) based in an EU-27/EFTA member state

The notification procedure does not apply for all other categories of persons.

The notification form is submitted by the employer of posted workers and of EU-27/EFTA nationals who have found employment in Switzerland. Self-employed service providers must submit this notification form themselves.

Transitory provisions with restrictions regarding the access to the labour market are applied to Croatian nationals and companies based in Croatia. More information regarding these measures can be found under "Croatia".

Eight-day notification-free period

The activity of posted workers and self-employed service providers is subject to a notification requirement if the work in Switzerland exceeds eight days within a given calendar year. In the following branches, the activity is always subject to a notification requirement from the first day onwards regardless of the duration of work:

  • Construction and secondary contract work
  • Gardening and landscaping
  • Hotel, restaurant and catering
  • Cleaning in companies and households
  • Monitoring and security services
  • Itinerant trade (exceptions: trade fairs and circuses)
  • Sex industry

Calculating the number of days (eight-day notification-free period and 90 working days)

The eight-day notification-free period and the maximum 90-day period apply to both the company posting workers and to the posted workers themselves. The number of workers who may be posted at the same time, however, has no impact on the total number of working days calculated for the company.

Eight-day prior notification

The activity of posted workers and self-employed service providers is subject to a notification obligation. A notification form must therefore be submitted eight days prior to commencement of work in Switzerland. Only in clearly defined emergencies (repairs, accidents, natural disasters or other unforeseeable circumstances) can work begin within the eight-day notification period. The reasons justifying the emergency case will be recognised by the cantonal authorities if the following prerequisites are cumulatively met:

  • The work to be done addresses unexpected occurrence of damage and is intended to prevent further damage
  • The work to be done is carried out immediately, generally no later than three calendar days (incl. Sunday and public holidays) after the damage took place.

Example 1:

An IT company sends a worker to Switzerland for an eight-day assignment. Both the company and the worker count the first day of service rendered in Switzerland for the current calendar year. There is no need to submit a notification form (=> eight notification-free days).
Starting from this point, any other workers that the company wishes to send to Switzerland are subject to the notification requirement. A notification form must therefore be submitted no later than eight days before the workers are posted. The same rule applies even if these new workers have never worked in Switzerland before (=> Rule applies both to the company posting workers and to the workers themselves). However, if the company already knows that the assignment in Switzerland will last longer than the eight notification-free days, then a notification form must be submitted to cover the first day of work for the assignment.

Example 2:

A gardening company sends a worker to Switzerland for an eight-day assignment. For both the company and the worker, this is the first cross-border service rendered in the current calendar year. Nevertheless, a notification form must be submitted for this worker eight days prior to the planned assignment because gardening is one of those activities that requires notification from the very first day of work.

Example 3:

A music school sends an employee who has already used up the eight-day notification-free period in Switzerland. The next assignment will be for five days in Switzerland. For the company (the music school), this is the first time that it will be sending one of its employees to Switzerland in the current calendar year. Since the employee has already worked in Switzerland for eight days, the music school must submit a notification form for the posted employee.

Example 4:

Since the construction industry requires notification starting from the first day of work, a notification form must be submitted eight days prior to commencement of work. A construction company sends three workers at the same time to work in Switzerland for a period of five working days. A total of five days will be deducted from the company’s account. However, if the same company sends three workers in sequence on different days (the workers do not work on the same days), then a total of 15 days will be deducted from the company’s account.

Subsequent change to notification forms

A successfully submitted notification form cannot be changed and cancelled online. If changes need to be made to a submitted notification form, then the cantonal authority must be contacted immediately and before commencement of work. If the duration of work is reduced or extended, the cantonal authority must be informed before the change of the initially notified duration occurs.

An e-mail must be sent to the cantonal authorities for the following changes:

  • Rescheduling of assignment provided eight-day notification period is adhered to
  • Change in duration of work
  • Interruption of work
  • Cancellation of the notification

A new notification form must be submitted for all other changes. In all of the mentioned cases, reference to the previous notification form must be made in the new notification form or e-mail concerning the change.

When provision of services requires issuance of a permit

A private employment agency based abroad is not authorised to bring jobseekers in direct contact with employers or third parties domiciled in Switzerland. They may work with an employment agency based in Switzerland provided that this agency has obtained the required cantonal and federal permits.

Under no circumstances is a foreign company that leases staff authorised to carry out its activities in Switzerland. According to Art. 22 para. 3 Annex I AFMP and Art. 12 of the Recruitment Act (RecA), the leasing of staff from abroad to work in Switzerland is not permitted. This prohibition applies to the leasing of staff by companies based abroad to companies based in Switzerland as well as to the leasing of staff by companies based abroad to foreign companies that provide services in Switzerland.

If financial services require prior approval before they can be provided on the sovereign territory of a contracting party to the AFMP and if the provider of financial services is subject to prudential supervision by the authorities of this contracting party, then there is an prior obligation to request an authorisation (Art. 22 para. 3 Annex I AFMP).

Annex I AFMP
(German, French and Italian)

Recruitment Act (RecA)
(German, French and Italian)

Forms, addresses

The online notification is the standard procedure. However, if it is impossible to use the online notification procedure for technical reasons, the forms below (available in German, French and Italian) can be used exceptionally. The appropriate form has to be filled in completely and correctly, signed and sent to the competent cantonal authority of the place of work in Switzerland, either by mail or fax. Sending these forms by e-mail is not allowed.

Croatian nationals and companies based in Croatia are subject to transitory provisions. More information is available under "Croatia".

The competent cantonal authorities in the location where the worker is posted or where the services are to be rendered in Switzerland will process the notification form and are available to answer any questions.

The following forms are available.
(in German; for the French or Italian version, please see the relevant page)

Postings to Switzerland by a company based in the EU-27/EFTA

Independant service provider from the EU-27/EFTA

Further information

About the notification procedure

Additional clarifications concerning notification rules can be found in the directives on the Freedom of Movement Introduction Ordinance (no. 3.).
(The following documents are not available in English)
   

The competent cantonal authorities in the location where the worker is posted or where the services are to be rendered in Switzerland will process the notification form and are available to answer any questions.

Posted Workers Act and Posted Workers Ordinance

For posted workers (and in certain cases also for self-employed service providers), the provisions of the Posted Workers Act and the Posted Workers Ordinance apply. This means, among other things, that when posting a worker to Switzerland, minimum wage and working conditions must be adhered to:

Declaration procedure and verification of professional qualifications

All EU-27/EFTA citizens wishing to provide services in a regulated profession in Switzerland for a period not exceeding 90 working days per calendar year must also submit a declaration on the online system of the State Secretariat for Education, Research and Innovation (SERI). This declaration procedure will enable the corresponding authorities to carry out a uniform and careful verification of the professional qualifications held by the EU/EFTA service provider. This rule ensures that the qualifications held by service providers are adequate:

VAT obligations

Companies posting workers to Switzerland or self-employed workers wishing to provide services in Switzerland may be subject to value-added tax if the turnover generated in Switzerland exceeds CHF 100,000 per year. Additional information can be found on the website of the Federal Tax Administration

Croatia

Notification procedure for Croatian nationals providing services in Switzerland

After the ratification of protocol III, the AFMP has been extended to Croatia on 1 January 2017, which means that the AFMP and Protocol III have become binding on all contracting parties.

Croatian service providers (posted workers or self-employed service providers) who are based in Croatia and who provide services in Switzerland for up to 90 days in a given calendar year must use the notification procedure. The notification procedure is limited to services provided in the general service branches. The cantonal authorities must receive the notification no later than eight days before the work begins. The general notification rules apply.

However, during the transitional period, Croatian citizens providing services in Switzerland must obtain a work permit, from the first day of work, if the services are in any of the following four economic branches:

  • Structural and secondary contract work
  • Gardening and landscaping
  • Cleaning work in companies
  • Security services

Taking up employment in Switzerland

Under the transitional provisions, Croatian citizens who accept employment from an employer based in Switzerland (i.e. who are not employees or self-employed persons based in Croatia) must have a valid work permit before the first day of employment, even if the period of employment is less than three months.

    

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