Archive | Seasonal and Temporary

Temporary Jobs in Switzerland – Lawyer’s Advice

Posted on 18 November 2007 by LegalBeagle

“I registered with a placement agency and signed a contract. What happens if I find a regular job as a result of this and the company they rent me to wants to hire me? Do I stay legally liable to the agency that rented me to the company in the first place?” Lionel, Geneva.

Temporary or Interim work has a special legal status in Switzerland.

In fact, the worker is bound by an employment contract to the agency which rents temporary workers to its enterprise clientele. And on the other hand, the worker is in no way bound to the actual company at which he is working who is renting the temporary staff from the agency, even though that is where he goes to work !

The Swiss federal laws governing temporary jobs in Switzerland – the rental of temp workers and what is referred to as ‘location de service’ – LES- or rental of services, governs this type of employment relationship. The LES delineates a certain number of measures that must be respected in this type of employment relationship.

First, the contract between the agency renting temporary workers and the worker must be in written form and contain, among other things, the type of work to be furnished, the length of engagement, and the working hours.

Accorsing to article 20 LES, if the company which is renting the services from the agency has a collective labor contract with its own permanent staff, the agency which is renting the services (workers) must apply the same working conditions (notably salary, working hours, and insurances) in force in the client company’s collective labor agreement.

Finally, the agency cannot by law prevent you taking a permanent job, concluding an employment contract directly with the client company if they decide to offer you regular employment.

Article 19 al. 5 letter b LES clearly stipulates that any clause which can prevent the employee / worker or create obstacles for the employee / worker from being employed by the client company – the ‘renter’ of the agency’s services – once the agency’s contract duration has ended, is null and void. The same holds true for any clauses concluded ; the company renting the temporary workers must be legally able to directly hire the worker at the end of the services contract.

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Temporary Work in Switzerland comes under Scrutiny

Posted on 01 May 2007 by info

From 2004 to 2006, the number of temporary jobs on the Swiss labor market increased by 60%. According to a study by the Swiss Central Secretariat and chief economist of the USS, temporary employment actually quadrupled since 1993. Recruitment for temporary jobs in Switzerland is growing rapidly.

During a press conference held yesterday in Berne, the authors of the study explained this evolution by three phenomena. First, the more unemployment and joblessness in Switzerland remain steady, the more temporary employment grows on the Swiss job market. As a result of not finding a stable job, the number of jobless unemployed seeking work that then accept a temporary job increases due to their fear of finding themselves still without a job when their unemployment compensation runs out. Further, temporary workers play the role of a contingency reservoir of labor in the Swiss economy. When the economy then picks up, companies draw on this labor pool and in periods of recession, temporary workers are the first to be let go.

Among the other causes of expansion, the study’s authors cite the internet (which facilitates the recruitment of workers for interim and temporary jobs), the expansionist strategies of the large international recruitment agencies, and finally the demands for flexibility on the part of the Swiss-based recruitment and job search companies for temporary assignments and short term jobs in Switzerland.

In Switzerland, the increase in temporary jobs and part-time work is in some ways a consequence of the free circulation of workers – the liberalization of the European labor market. The number of persons subject to ‘simple declaration’ (coming from the EU, for whom the maximum stay is 90 days) placed by recruitment agencies and job search firms has strongly increased. These recruitment agencies executive search firms and interim manpower companies have become a catalyst for short term assignments undertaken in Switzerland by foreign workers.

Job seekers and candidates looking for employment in Switzerland should look at the popular job search websites like topjobs, jobwinner, monster, jobup, jobpilot, executivesearch, and many others. You can apply for work in Switzerland directly online through one of these websites. Job opportunities and executive careers are available in the financial, banking, I.T. – information technology, luxury and pharmaceutical industries.

Most temporary workers hope that short-term assignments –precarious employment– will lead to a stable job. In fact this infrequently the case. Numerous young salaried workers go from assignment to assignment, temporary job to temporary job, without ever finding a permanent position or stable job. The USS also denounced the often deplorable compensation paid to temporary workers. Spot checks have shown that in over 10% of cases, the habitual minimum salaries for the profession are not respected. The downward spiral of working conditions has progressed to the point that even Adecco has publicly distanced itself from the social and salarial undermining that is taking place in the sector and has called for all temporary jobs to be subject to some sort of oversight.

The Swiss unions are taking aim as well at ‘on-call’ work, which is characterized by few hours, large availability, and hours set or cancelled at the last moment and an accompanying salary that can vary strongly from month to month. According to the Union (USS), this mounting precarity goes against a number of laws and ordinances.

The Union condemns the discounter Aldi, which hires half-time personnel to save costs on pension contributions (LPP), all the while demanding that the employee remain at the company’s disposal to work a larger number of hours if necessary. According to the unions in Switzerland, even the SECO judges such a unilateral contract unacceptable.

The unions made an example of such glaring cases of abuse in the labor markets by launching a call on May 1st in favor of decent work and against the growing precariousness of employment conditions in Switzerland. The Union intends to lead a crusade against the growing abuses in the job market and avoid the kind of working conditions which lead to a downward spiral of salaries, an aggravation of risks of accidents and a degradation in health.

Temporary workers are disadvantaged in many ways: by lack of job protection, lack of on-the-job training possibilities or continuing education, and reduced career opportunities.

This data should be placed in the context of the current labor market in Switzerland. According to recent labor surveys, 91% of Swiss claim to be happy with their working conditions. Switzerland is classed 4th –behind Denmark, Norway, and Great Britain- but well ahead of its neighbors.

Candidates from abroad who want to work in Switzerland should see our pages about work permits, salaries, companies hiring, and the best employment websites to consult.

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