Migration office plans job cuts

Switzerland has seen a marked decline in the number of asylum seekers. Pictured here is a facility in Zurich. Keystone / Walter Bieri

As the number of asylum seekers dwindles, so does the need for staff at Switzerland’s State Secretariat for Migration (SEM).

NZZ am Sonntag/sm

“In view of the persistently low number of new asylum applications, the Federal Council has decided not to allocate the financial resources to extend 45 temporary posts in the SEM,” a spokeswoman for the Federal Department of Justice and Police confirmed to the NZZ am Sonntag newspaper.

SEM has 1,100 employees, about half of whom work in the asylum department. The cuts represent about 8% percent of that department’s team. Employment contracts due to expire at the end of 2020 will not be extended. This summer, SEM will inform its temporary employees whether or not their contracts will be terminated.

In 2015, some 40,000 people applied for asylum in Switzerland – as many people as work for the federal government. In 2019, there were 14,000 asylum seekers. The reason is tighter European border controls. This year, the coronavirus pandemic has reduced the flow of migrants everywhere.


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