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Need for improvements in flexible working

The Swiss labour market is highly flexible, but workers not in long-term full time employment need better social security coverage, says a report issued on Friday .

The Federal Social Insurance Office report says that roughly 17 per cent of Switzerland’s labour force, or 700,000 people, worked in “atypical” jobs in 2007. These jobs included temporary or on-demand jobs, and home employment.

If the 1.3 million part-time employees are taken into account as well, this means that about half the working population works flexible hours.

It points out that not all those working part time do so voluntarily. In 2007 one-third of them said they wanted to work more and one in seven sought full-time employment. As for temporary work, hopes that it would lead to a permanent job were usually disappointed.

The report says that gaps in the social security system leave “atypical” workers vulnerable. Many are not covered by an employer’s pension plan, nor are they obliged to take out insurance against loss of earnings.

The study, conducted by Ecoplan, a policy consultancy and by Zurich University, urges an in-depth examination of the relationship between the welfare system and at-risk people, including the mentally ill and those without formal vocational training.

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SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR

SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR