22 February 2018

Notification requirement for employers with job vacancies

Adjustment of your recruiting process

As from July 1, 2018, companies in a sector with high unemployment rates will have to notify and register job vacancies. This enables registered job seekers to apply for a suitable position before companies may publish it on the market.

1.    Background
In the implementation of the popular initiative "Against mass immigration" on December 16, 2016 the parliament passed amendments to the law, which will enter into force on July 1, 2018. Part of the new legal provisions are the so-called measures for job seekers. They stipulate that companies in a sector, in which the unemployment rate reaches or exceeds a certain threshold, are required to register a job vacancy (so called "national priority light"), which is a novelty in Swiss law. The intention of this obligation is to make better use of the existing potential of domestic workers. The job notification requirement aims at the simplification of the placement of job seekers, registered with the regional job centers (RAV).

2.    Which occupational groups are concerned?
The job notification requirement applies for occupational groups for which the total Swiss unemployment rate reaches or exceeds 8%. As of today, this mainly affects the construction industry. However, also professions such as business administrator, courier, actor or service personnel are likely to be affected. In the first quarter of 2018, the Federal Council will publish a list of the sectors subject to the notification obligation, as an annex to the Federal Ordinance on Employment Services and Secondment (FOESS) and update it annually. From 1 January 2020, the threshold will be reduced to 5%. This transitional period should allow employers and law enforcement bodies to adapt their processes, resources and cooperation to the new regime.

3.    Adjustment of recruitment procedure
In an affected sector, every employer has to notify the competent RAV of a job vacancy. Notice may be served over the internet platform, by phone or by personal visit. During a period of five working days, the respective job offer can only be accessed by job seekers registered with the RAV. No other advertising or promotion of the job vacancy is permitted during this period. As a result, job seekers registered with the RAV have a time advantage over competitors in the job market. In addition, the RAV submits suitable dossiers to the employer within three working days or informs the employer that there are no suit-able dossiers. The exclusive application period of five days applies regardless of whether the RAV is able to submit suitable dossiers to the employer. The employer must invite suitable job seekers to a job interview or suitability assessment test and inform the RAV in case of a hiring. However, the employer is free to choose a suitable candidate for hire, i.e. without specifications or obligation to justify. Apart from the abovementioned proce-dure, the employer may organize the recruitment procedure as he deems fit.  

4.    Exceptions from the notification requirement
In exceptional cases, no notification of a job vacancy is required, if:

  • a vacancy is filled by a job seeker registered with the RAV;
  • employees (including interns) change position within the company;
  • apprentices continue to be employed;
  • a position with a fixed term of maximum 14 calendar days is filled;
  • close relatives are hired.

5.     Sanctions
Violation of the notification requirement or the obligation to invite suitable RAV candidates for a job interview or a suitability assessment test may be punished by fines of up to CHF 40'000.00.

For further questions, please contact our Employment Law team.

Authors: Sara Ianni, Moritz Jäggy

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