Temporary employee sector hit hard by Covid-19 crisis

There are about 360,000 people in Switzerland with temporary employment contracts. They work in construction, industry and service sectors. Keystone / Alessandro Della Valle

The number of hours worked by temporary employees in Switzerland has dropped by about 23% due to the impact of restrictions imposed in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic.

This content was published on July 29, 2020 - 15:07

The federation of staffing companiesExternal link said the French- and Italian-speaking regions were hit harder than the main German-speaking region of the country.

The figures for the second quarter of 2020 were released on Wednesday and are compared to the same period of last year.

The federation says it is concerned about the prospects for the second half of the year.

“What is disconcerting for the future is the fact that business activities have not yet picked up strongly across Switzerland, despite the lockdown measures being eased in June,” a statement said. “However, French-speaking and Italian-speaking Switzerland have fortunately enjoyed a faster recovery,” it added.

The federation called on parliament to include temporary employees in a planned law to continue financial benefits for staff put on short working hours.

A current compensation scheme is due to run out at the end of next month, prompting fears of job losses.

There are currently about 20,000 temporary employees benefiting from a government programme, according to Swiss Staffing.

Several major companies, notably in the tourist sector and at airports, have announced job cuts over the next few years due to the pandemic.

The government expects a drop of more than 6% in the country’s GDP this year.

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