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Posting workers

Posting workers

One speaks of posting when an employer sends a worker outside of the country in which the employer has its registered office and where the worker usually performs their job duties. The posted worker then provides services in the foreign country on behalf and at the expense of the employer. The employment contract remains in force during the posting and the worker is still subject to the social insurance scheme of their country of origin.

On 1 June 2004, Switzerland introduced accompanying measures relating to the free movement of persons to and from the EU. These measures are meant to protect workers against wage and social dumping. They allow for inspections to ensure compliance with minimum or usual working and pay conditions. In addition, they enable the competent authorities to take action if violations are identified.

The Posted Workers Act requires foreign employers that post workers to Switzerland to comply with the working and pay conditions prescribed by Swiss federal acts, Federal Council ordinances, standard employment contracts and collective employment contracts that have been declared generally applicable. The working and pay conditions addressed concern minimum pay, work and rest periods, minimum annual paid holiday, and occupational health and safety.

They also include the protection of pregnant women, women who have recently given birth, children and young people. Finally, it contains rules on non-discrimination, in particular gender equality.

In industries or professions without mandatory minimum pay, the usual pay for that location, profession or industry must be upheld. The tripartite committees monitor the labour market to ensure compliance with this requirement.

Collective employment contracts are contracts between employers or employer federations and labour unions that govern working conditions and the relationship between the parties. Where declared generally applicable, a collective employment contract extends to all workers and employers of the industry concerned. Each resolution declaring a collective employment to be generally applicable specifies the geographical area, industry and workers that are subject to the generally applicable provisions.

Difference between posting and the hiring of services

The hiring of services occurs when an employer provides its workers to another company unconnected to them for the purpose of fulfilling a contract. In doing so, the employer transfers its authority to direct workers to the company that has hired them. Unlike posted workers, hired staff do not work on behalf or at the expense of the employer.

The hiring of services and personnel placement from abroad is prohibited.
More information available in DE, FR, IT.