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Old 30.05.2015, 15:32
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Unemployment benefits in CH for EU workers


I was recently told that if you used to work in a EU country, then move to CH and start working here - even for just one week - your former EU contribution period sums up with your current CH contribution period, and you are entitled to unemployment benefits in CH with just your "1 working week". So, basically if you meet Swiss criteria (having worked overall xx days in CH/EU during the last year, or whatever the regulation is), you are entitled to get "paid".
Now, this is interesting to us because my partner worked in Italy until Dec 31 2014, then resigned to join me in CH. He is still now looking for a job here. In ITaly, you have no right to unemployment if you resign (only if you get fired or your contract is not renovated) - differently from CH. So here he might get some benefit!
Does anybody know more about this? Any experience? Very grateful if you could share
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Old 30.05.2015, 15:39
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Re: Unemployment benefits in CH for EU workers

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I was recently told that if you used to work in a EU country, then move to CH and start working here - even for just one week - your former EU contribution period sums up with your current CH contribution period, and you are entitled to unemployment benefits in CH with just your "1 working week". So, basically if you meet Swiss criteria (having worked overall xx days in CH/EU during the last year, or whatever the regulation is), you are entitled to get "paid".
Now, this is interesting to us because my partner worked in Italy until Dec 31 2014, then resigned to join me in CH. He is still now looking for a job here. In ITaly, you have no right to unemployment if you resign (only if you get fired or your contract is not renovated) - differently from CH. So here he might get some benefit!
Does anybody know more about this? Any experience? Very grateful if you could share
If he resigned then you'll get nothing and quite frankly, suggest you piss off back to where you came from instead of asking us how you can stiff the system we have all paid into and you have paid nothing.

Go get Italian unemployment benefit
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Old 30.05.2015, 16:07
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Re: Unemployment benefits in CH for EU workers

No, pretty much the same. If you resign then there will be a period (1-3 months) before any unemployment would be paid. Some info here:

https://www.ch.ch/en/unemployment

https://www.justlanded.com/english/S...ment-insurance

And yes, if he had worked in Switzerland for a week, then the time he worked in Italy would also count towards claiming benefit iirc.

However, I think the difference is that he hasn't yet been employed here in Switzerland so I don't think he would be able to claim.
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Old 30.05.2015, 16:47
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Well, you should not worry for your money, obviously Switzerland would get refunded by Italy. These are the agreements. And I am not seeking to cheat the system, just asking which rights a EU worker moving to Switzerland has.

I found this story strange what I was told (I live and pay taxes in CH since 9 years, so I know a bit the system...) - but when I checked, it seemed like what I was told is true, however we have the special case in which my partner would not have right to unemployment in IT* but would have right in CH.

* the whole story is that he would have right in Italy as well - as he resigned because of my maternity, unfortunately we did not know fathers had the right as well, and did not follow the right procedure.

Thanks Medea!
He is actually in touch with a potential employer, he might start working soon... Now I just wonder about the period January-MAy, as he did not pay any social insurance, so we need to check he has enough contribution days in the relevent period.

Thanks again

Last edited by 3Wishes; 30.05.2015 at 18:48. Reason: merging successive posts
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Old 30.05.2015, 18:16
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Re: Unemployment benefits in CH for EU workers

This is what governs it zooei.

"In the two years before becoming unemployed and registering with the employment office you must have held, for at least 12 months, a job requiring the payment of unemployment insurance contributions"

Because of the Free Movement Agreement if most of that 12 months was in another EU country then a person would qualify for some unemployment benefit even if they only worked in Switzerland for a short time. But you have to have worked here first to claim it as far as I know. Still it might be worth checking with RAV. Bear in mind though that any benefit would probably be based on the last six months salary so as he hasn't worked he may not qualify for much if anything.
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Old 30.05.2015, 19:12
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Re: Unemployment benefits in CH for EU workers

Even Swiss people who have worked here for many years are recently told that if they voluntarily give up their job, without seeking help from management and HR to solve any problems- that they are not entitled to unemployment benefits. Someone recently challenged this in the most senior court in CH and lost- as he clearly had made himself unemployed and not gone through the proper chanels to try and solve issues at work. Problems and all actions to attempt to solve such must be properly documented too.

Unemployment benefits are for people who lose their jobs through no fault of their own. And quite rightly so, really.

Last edited by Odile; 30.05.2015 at 19:27.
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Old 30.05.2015, 20:50
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Re: Unemployment benefits in CH for EU workers

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Now, this is interesting to us because my partner worked in Italy until Dec 31 2014, then resigned to join me in CH. He is still now looking for a job here. In ITaly, you have no right to unemployment if you resign (only if you get fired or your contract is not renovated) - differently from CH. So here he might get some benefit!
When your partner move to Switzerland to seek work, he was entitled to have his Italian benefits paid to him for the first three months while he was seeking work. The fact that he did not qualify got Italian benefits means there is nothing due him.

After the first three months he should have applied for permit to allow him continue searching for a further 3 months, did he do this? If he fails to find a job within the 6 months period, then the permit will not be renewed and it is time to go home!

The alternative to them being send home is that you earn sufficient income for both of you and you sponsor him. And the authorities accept it.

At no point in this exercise is your partner entitled to Swiss benefits, in fact the rules on the free movement of people makes it very clear - you can not move to another state and become a burden on their social infrastructure.
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Old 30.05.2015, 21:07
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Re: Unemployment benefits in CH for EU workers

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Well, you should not worry for your money, obviously Switzerland would get refunded by Italy. These are the agreements. And I am not seeking to cheat the system, just asking which rights a EU worker moving to Switzerland has.

I found this story strange what I was told (I live and pay taxes in CH since 9 years, so I know a bit the system...) - but when I checked, it seemed like what I was told is true, however we have the special case in which my partner would not have right to unemployment in IT* but would have right in CH.

* the whole story is that he would have right in Italy as well - as he resigned because of my maternity, unfortunately we did not know fathers had the right as well, and did not follow the right procedure.

Thanks Medea!
He is actually in touch with a potential employer, he might start working soon... Now I just wonder about the period January-MAy, as he did not pay any social insurance, so we need to check he has enough contribution days in the relevent period.

Thanks again
I don't understand. If he finds a job, does he intend to resign soon after? To me, it seems like cheating two systems and it's wrong. I hope I didn't understand correctly.
And you're right about Italy having to pay to Switzerland, same goes for health treatments. (so there are EU people who choose other country, on the expense of their own country even if the same procedure could have been done in their homeland)
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Old 30.05.2015, 23:19
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Re: Unemployment benefits in CH for EU workers

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This is what governs it zooei.

"In the two years before becoming unemployed and registering with the employment office you must have held, for at least 12 months, a job requiring the payment of unemployment insurance contributions"

Because of the Free Movement Agreement if most of that 12 months was in another EU country then a person would qualify for some unemployment benefit even if they only worked in Switzerland for a short time. But you have to have worked here first to claim it as far as I know. Still it might be worth checking with RAV. Bear in mind though that any benefit would probably be based on the last six months salary so as he hasn't worked he may not qualify for much if anything.
Thanks again. Yes, after looking at your links, this is what I think as well. Or better, if he starts working here part time, probably he would earn easilymore than the unemployment benefit he would be entitled to based on the last six months of Italian salary (as you probably know, Italian salaries are much lower than Swiss ones). Still, it would be nice to enter the unemployment process, as they might help him to find a job in his field or offer some formation.

Ps I guess I messed up earlier with replies - somehow I see two replies in one post

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I don't understand. If he finds a job, does he intend to resign soon after? To me, it seems like cheating two systems and it's wrong. I hope I didn't understand correctly.
And you're right about Italy having to pay to Switzerland, same goes for health treatments. (so there are EU people who choose other country, on the expense of their own country even if the same procedure could have been done in their homeland)
Not at all. Simply, he perhaps found a "seasonal" job, just for the Summer, and part time only. So, normally, you would still get unemployment benefits "topping up" your part-time salary. Like, if you have right to, let's say chf 5'000 per month, but you are able to earn 3'000, then RAV gives you only the remaining 2'000.

There is no cheating - my partner conteibuted for years in Italy (did not even ask the unemployment he was entitled to - but his was HIS mistake, not complaining for this), and now I wish he finds soon a full time job as he deserves - so that he can start contributing here as well! I just think, if CH/EU countries have agreements in place that allow to merge contribution periods, I guess this is only good news for most of us, no?

Last edited by 3Wishes; 31.05.2015 at 07:47. Reason: merging successive posts via edit
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Old 30.05.2015, 23:35
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Re: Unemployment benefits in CH for EU workers

But isnīt the amount you receive from RAV/ALK calculated on the salary of the last 6 months? That would then be only 1 month he worked so negligible
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Old 30.05.2015, 23:37
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Re: Unemployment benefits in CH for EU workers

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Even Swiss people who have worked here for many years are recently told that if they voluntarily give up their job, without seeking help from management and HR to solve any problems- that they are not entitled to unemployment benefits. Someone recently challenged this in the most senior court in CH and lost- as he clearly had made himself unemployed and not gone through the proper chanels to try and solve issues at work. Problems and all actions to attempt to solve such must be properly documented too.

Unemployment benefits are for people who lose their jobs through no fault of their own. And quite rightly so, really.
Thanks - he quit his job to come closer to our newborn son. He even asked for remote work setup - which he obtained for a few months, but could not be extended. I would not go to court for sure! But his case could be widely documented, no doubt about this
quitting his job was a tough decision, for sure he did not intwnd to come to Switzerland to rest

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When your partner move to Switzerland to seek work, he was entitled to have his Italian benefits paid to him for the first three months while he was seeking work. The fact that he did not qualify got Italian benefits means there is nothing due him.

After the first three months he should have applied for permit to allow him continue searching for a further 3 months, did he do this? If he fails to find a job within the 6 months period, then the permit will not be renewed and it is time to go home!

The alternative to them being send home is that you earn sufficient income for both of you and you sponsor him. And the authorities accept it.

At no point in this exercise is your partner entitled to Swiss benefits, in fact the rules on the free movement of people makes it very clear - you can not move to another state and become a burden on their social infrastructure.
Thanks Jim, I am obviously sponsoring him (and our child). Yes, the system is quite nicely protected against people trying to take advantage of the social benefits, but I am here since many years and I know we are totally moving within the legal space.

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But isn't the amount you receive from RAV/ALK calculated on the salary of the last 6 months? That would then be only 1 month he worked so negligible.
That is a question I have as well - would it be 6 calendar months, or 6 last working months? In any case, as I wrote somewhere in this thread (sorry, I got lost with the quote/reply system ), it would not make a big difference, I think even working only a few hours per week he would basically exceed the amount RAV would pay when looking at his Italian salary. But it would be nice if he could get access to the unemployment system as he might get to know interesting job offers, and it would be an additional motivation for him. Honestly this period is quite frustrating for him, hopefull it gets over soon

Last edited by 3Wishes; 31.05.2015 at 07:52. Reason: merging consecutive replies via edit
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Old 30.05.2015, 23:50
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Re: Unemployment benefits in CH for EU workers

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Not at all. Simply, he perhaps found a "seasonal" job, just for the Summer, and part time only. So, normally, you would still get unemployment benefits "topping up" your part-time salary. Like, if you have right to, let's say chf 5'000 per month, but you are able to earn 3'000, then RAV gives you only the remaining 2'000.

There is no cheating - my partner conteibuted for years in Italy (did not even ask the unemployment he was entitled to - but his was HIS mistake, not complaining for this), and now I wish he finds soon a full time job as he deserves - so that he can start contributing here as well! I just think, if CH/EU countries have agreements in place that allow to merge contribution periods, I guess this is only good news for most of us, no?
All clear now, OP. I understand your circumstances. Even if he will not get any unemployment benefits here (I know, it must be frustrating because he contributed back home, but you know you have to do everything by the book in bureaucracy), it would be great if he could enter some sort of "Weiterbildung" and be on their lists in case something shows up in his field.
Wish you both the best of luck.
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Old 30.05.2015, 23:56
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Re: Unemployment benefits in CH for EU workers

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That is a question I have as well - would it be 6 calendar months, or 6 last working months?
12 months if it is beneficial.

Tom
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