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Domestic and foreign labour Cabinet sets details for hiring preference rules

The government says three of every ten new job placements would be subject to reporting requirements

(Keystone)

About 187,000 job seekers resident in Switzerland could benefit from domestic hiring preference rules under proposals aimed at curbing immigration from the European Union.

The government on Friday announced the local preference mechanism would apply if unemployment in a sector of the economy reaches 5% nationwide.

The system was agreed by parliament last December and stops short of outright immigration quotas demanded by voters in 2014. The ballot box decision prompted a temporary crisis in relations with the EU.

Brussels has taken a relaxed view of the new Swiss system, but it has insisted on the principle of free movement of people with non-EU member Switzerland as part of a bilateral accord.

Head start

Under the draft regulations to go to a consultation among main organisations, political parties and the 26 cantons, employers would have to notify employment offices of job vacancies, except for short-term jobs.

Registered job seekers in Switzerland will get a five-day head start in applying for open positions, a measure aimed at reducing the need to recruit workers from abroad.

The overall Swiss jobless rate stood at 3.1% in May, but it was higher in some sectors and notably in certain regions of the country, notably Ticino which borders Italy.

More specific details of the regulation at regional levels are still to be discussed before they will be implemented next year.

swissinfo.ch and agencies/urs

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