Swiss employers want crackdown on illegal employment

One of Switzerland's main employer organisations on Thursday called for a crackdown on moonlighting, saying such work was costing the state billions of Swiss francs in lost taxes and welfare contributions and made a mockery of honest workers.

This content was published on July 1, 1999 - 16:06

The Small Traders' and Artisans' Association, one of Switzerland's main employer organisations, on Thursday called for a crackdown on illegal employment or moonlighting.

It said such work was costing the state billions of Swiss francs in lost taxes and welfare contributions and made a mockery of honest workers.

The association made the call at a news conference in Berne, marking the start of its campaign against moonlighting.

“Moonlighting is more than a light offence,” said Heinz Pletscher, head of the association’s working group on the issue.

Pletscher said the illegal work practice was causing massive losses in tax revenue and increasing the debt burden of social security and welfare insurance programmes.

It was also an incentive for honest workers to withhold money from the authorities, he added.

The association said the cantonal authorities should introduce stricter controls to crack down on moonlighting – a measure which had already proven successful in cantons Vaud and Geneva in French-speaking western Switzerland.

The organisation further demanded stiffer penalties for offenders and moves to crack down on work that is carried out privately in households but which is never declared by the person who did the work.

The trade association did not provide any precise figures on the scale of the problem but it quoted estimates which put the worth of such labour at about SFr30 billion ($20 billion) per year.

Recent surveys among its members showed that 78 percent of small and medium sized businesses opposed moonlighting and wanted to see a crackdown, the association said.

Just under 70 percent also wanted the labour organisation to take measures against such workers.


Source: APD, sda-ats

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