The Swiss Parliament has enacted legislation that requires companies offering a job of a type where there is high unemployment to register the job vacancy with the unemployment office prior to advertising the position. The legislation is intended to provide an opportunity for the unemployment office to put forward potential candidates. Breaching this new statutory obligation may lead to a fine of up to CHF 40,000 (USD 41,000 : GBP 32,000 : Euro 35,000).

These so-called “measures for job seekers” impact professions in which the unemployment rate reaches or exceeds a certain threshold. Where applicable, a five-business-day blocking period begins following the registration, during which time the position may not be advertised. The unemployment office has three days during which curricula vitae (CVs) of registered unemployed persons can be submitted to employers. Employers must then review these CVs and inform the unemployment office whether the candidates are qualified and which candidates will be invited to an interview. If candidates are interviewed, the employer must notify the unemployment office whether a particular candidate was offered the job or the position remains open.

The obligation to register the position applies even if an employer wants to fill a position with a Swiss national, a European Union or European Free Trade Association national, or a foreigner with a valid work permit.

Which occupational groups are concerned?

The Federal Council issues a list of the occupational groups subject to the obligation to report jobs, which is updated annually.

The job notification requirement applies for occupational groups for which the total Swiss unemployment rate reaches or exceeds 8 percent. After January 1, 2020, the threshold will be reduced to 5 percent. The transitional period between 2018 and 2020 should allow employers and law enforcement bodies to adapt their procedures and resources to the new regulation.

According to the latest list of occupational groups subject to reporting requirements, the following occupational groups are particularly affected:

For example, the area of public relations (PR) and marketing includes positions such as PR director, congress manager, event manager, PR professional, PR expert, PR specialist, press attaché, PR delegate, PR consultant, marketing administrator, marketing manager, marketing planner, marketing assistant, head of marketing, promotion manager, and marketing communication expert.

In order to check whether a certain job vacancy must be registered, there is a Check-Up tool  that lists all the professions that must be reported.

Employers may want to check the list in detail before a position can be advertised.


This registration requirement is a new concept in Swiss law and follows the government’s popular initiative against mass immigration. The intention is to make better use of the existing potential of domestic workers and favor currently unemployed Swiss residents in the job market.

Written by Ueli Sommer of Walder Wyss and Roger James of Ogletree Deakins