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Immigration quotas vote Job priority for Swiss residents to kick in at 8% unemployment rate

On February 9, 2014, 50.3% of voters approved an initiative by the rightwing Swiss People’s Party to limit immigration from the EU

(Keystone)

The Federal Council has announced that until 2020, Swiss residents registered at the unemployment office will get first dibs at jobs once unemployment in that sector reaches an 8% threshold. The measure will be effective from July 1, 2018. 

At a press conference on Friday, Swiss justice minister Simonetta Sommaruga announced the government’s plans for implementing the 2014 popular vote in favour of immigration quotas for workers from European Union countries. The vote has caused a headache for the government as it violates the EU’s clause on the free movement of people. A solution involving preferential treatment of Swiss residents instead of quotas for EU workers was the government’s preferred option. 

+ Read more about how an issue of immigration became one of unemployment

Once the 8% unemployment threshold is reached, new job ads will be visible for the first five days only to those registered with the unemployment office. Officials at the unemployment office will have three working days to send employers the profile of qualified candidates registered with them. Employers will then have to invite these candidates to an interview to assess the suitability for the role advertised. They are then free to hire who they prefer. From January 1, 2020, the unemployment threshold for local preference to kick in will be lowered to 5%.  

Exceptions will be made for employers hiring close family members, promoting internal staff (including hiring interns or apprentices) or for jobs of less than 14 days’ duration.


swissinfo.ch and agencies

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